When Judge Sonia Sotomayor was first mentioned as a potential candidate to the Supreme Court, I wrote my concerns here. That article dealt with one manner in which PR firms for large governmental corporations manage to motivate the opposition to support their corporate candidate. Today, I would like to revisit that topic, mainly due to Glenn Greenwald’s just published article. It appears that Glenn Greenwald has fallen into their clever trap.
Although I disagree with Glenn in this one instance, I mean no disrespect towards him:
1. Glenn Greenwald is one of the best journalists in existence. I read his work every chance I get, including his excellent books. To paraphrase what someone once said of Noam Chomsky in The Nation, “not to have read Glenn Greenwald is to court genuine ignorance.”
2. The public relations industry has spent decades and trillions of dollars to influence public opinion and behavior. Not one individual can claim they have not subconsciously been affected by such a large influence, except perhaps a deaf dumb and mute African tribesman. Not me, not you, and not even Glenn Greenwald – whose endurance in this area is remarkable.
Today, the New York Times announced that President Obama will officially nominate Sotomayor for U.S. Supreme Court. Sotomayor, originally appointed by former radical CIA director George Bush Sr, has made the following decisions (from ScotusBlog, linked to in Glenn’s current article.)
Privacy rights: Sotomayor is against individual privacy rights. From the article: “workplace conditions can be such that an employee’s expectation of privacy…is diminished.” Here, she explained, the search was permissible because it could have revealed employee misconduct.
Sotomayor, however, is very compassionate towards governmental privacy: “In two cases involving requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Sotomayor wrote an opinion that declined to order the release of the requested information, explaining that she did not want to “unreasonably hamper agencies in their decision-making.”
Public health vs. corporate profits. Sotomayor prefers profits, apparently. She ruled against the EPA in its fight to enforce the Clean Water Act against power plants. “Sotomayor wrote and opinion holding that the EPA was not permitted to engage in a cost-benefit analysis to determine “best technology available”; instead, it could consider cost only to determine “what technology can be ‘reasonably borne’ by the industry” and whether the proposed technology was “cost-effective”
Quotes from ScousBlog.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a sympathetic character, a minority female who is intelligent and inappropriately attacked by wacky republicans. Instinctively, I want to side with her. But I also want clean water and air, and I want an open government by and for the people. I cannot support a dangerous corporate stooge. We have enough of those already in the U.S. Supreme Court.