President Barack Obama’s choice of Sonia Sotomayer to serve on the United States Supreme Court is an excellent one. I’ve been following this lady’s career for quite some time. She knows her stuff and will make an excellent Supreme Court Justice.
Of course, there are those who will disagree with my assessment. These folks will say they are concerned about Ms. Sotomayer being an “activist judge,” that they are afraid Ms. Sotomayer will try to legislate from the bench.
I get a good laugh whenever I hear the nonsense over so-called activist judges. Why? Because there is no such thing as an activist judge, especially on the Supreme Court. Judges do not decide public policy. However, there are instances when judges have to decide the Constitutionality of a case. That is their job. That is what they get paid for. That is their responsibility under the United States Constitution.
When the Supreme Court ruled Jim Crow segregation illegal in the case, Brown v. Board of Education, in 1954, the Court did so because the Court determined that segregation in America was Unconstitutional, not because the Court wanted America to be a better place to live.
In the early 1960’s when the Supreme Court expanded the rights of the accused, in the cases of Escobedo v. Illinois, Gideon v. Wainwright and Miranda v. Arizona, the Court did so because the Court determined that certain Constitutional rights of those accused of committing a crime were being violated, not because the Court wanted guilty people to go free.
The Supreme Court deciding the constitutionality of a court case is as old as America itself. The Founding Fathers gave the Court this power in Article III of the Constitution. The power of judicial review was later reaffirmed in the case Marbury v. Madison in 1803.
Again, there is no such thing as an activist judge. However, there are people who disagree with Supreme Court rulings who only want to make an issue of judges doing their jobs.
I would be remiss if I did not remind the readers of a very special upcoming event. On June 13’th, beginning at 12 noon, the Roanoke, Va. Southern Christian Leadership Conference will be holding “JUNETEENTH ’09,” at Washington Park on Orange Ave. “JUNETEENTH ‘09” is a day we celebrate the end of slavery in America, as well as, celebrate unity, fellowship and brotherhood here in the Valley.
“JUNETEENTH ’09” is also part of the Roanoke SCLC’s gang prevention program. The Roanoke SCLC wants to provide our young people with an opportunity to meet positive role models from all spectrums and all walks of life in hope that our youth will become productive citizens. To meet this objective, businesses, churches, clubs, colleges, schools and civic organizations are invited to attend “JUNETEENTH ’09.” These groups are also invited to set up a table free of charge for community education. As always, everything at the Roanoke’s SCLC’s JUNETEENTH celebration is free; free food, free entertainment, and a free good time.
Last year’s “JUNETEENTH” celebration was a huge success. This year’s event will be even better. To see an updated roster for this year‘s event or to see pictures and information concerning “JUNETEENTH ’07” or “JUNETEENTH ’08,” please log onto, www.jeffartis.com and visit any of the “JUNETEENTH” links. If you would like to participate in “JUNETEENTH ‘09”, please contact me at (540)366-3719 or (540)355-4118. I would be honored for you to attend and/or participate in this wonderful event of unity, fellowship and brotherhood.