Judicial Watch • Illegal Aliens Are “Undocumented” In Sotomayor’s Eyes

Illegal Aliens Are “Undocumented” In Sotomayor’s Eyes

Illegal Aliens Are “Undocumented” In Sotomayor’s Eyes

DECEMBER 09, 2010

A year after Sonia Sotomayor made history for embedding her race-based ideology into a Supreme Court opinion, she has injected her activist philosophy during arguments in the case of a state law that punishes employers of illegal immigrants.

In both instances Justice Sotomayor, once a policy maker at the leftist Puerto Rico Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), used terms aimed at describing illegal immigrants in a more friendly and politically correct way. Often practiced by liberal judges in certain parts of the country, this sort of judicial activism is largely unprecedented on the nation’s High Court.

This week Justice Sotomayor promptly corrected herself after mistakenly saying “illegal aliens” when in fact she meant “undocumented” aliens (page 14 of the court transcript). The blunder took place while the court heard a challenge against a two-year-old Arizona measure—signed into law by former Governor Janet Napolitano—that punishes businesses caught hiring illegal workers. The law has been upheld by two federal courts, including the famously liberal San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

During arguments, Justice Sotomayor made a reference to illegal aliens of Hispanic descent and quickly amended the phrase by interjecting her preferred term, “undocumented aliens.” The exchange took place while she questioned one of the attorneys (Carter Phillips) challenging the Arizona law, which says that businesses can have their license revoked for hiring illegal workers.

In her first opinion as a Supreme Court Justice last year (Mohawk Industries, Inc. vs. Carpenter), Sotomayor created fanfare among liberals with a pair of expressions designed to minimize the stigma associated with illegal immigration. She used “undocumented immigrant” and “undocumented worker” in lieu of illegal immigrant. The term “undocumented immigrant” had never before appeared in a Supreme Court decision though illegal immigrant has been used in dozens of opinions.

Sotomayor’s race and gender-based activism has been well documented over the years. Judicial Watch has extensively investigated her storied judicial career and released a series of informative documents detailing her improper political activities. Click here to read all about it.


 

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