JCN’s State-Based Anti-Sotomayor Strategy

Last week we noticed that the Judicial Confirmation Network had unviled a state-level operation in Arkansas seeking to fight Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

State-level organizations are obviously going to play a key part in the JCN’s anti-Sotomayor campaign as, in the last few days, two new ones have popped up, including one in North Dakota:

With the recent nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, the North Dakota Judicial Confirmation Network is proud to announce their 2009 Steering Committee.

The group will be chaired by Rep. Rick Berg, and will include Rep. Kathy Hawken, Sen. Joe Miller, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Duane, Rep. Chuck Damschen, Bismarck Attorney Robert Harms, Rep. Blair Thoreson, and Fargo City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn. The group will continue to add steering committee members throughout the summer.

Reps Berg and Thoreson also served on the North Dakota Judicial Confirmation Network’s 2005 effort. In 2005, Senators Dorgan and Conrad both voted to confirm Justice John Roberts. Senator Conrad also voted to confirm Justice Alito.

“Our goal is to advocate for a responsible and thorough vetting process for Judge Sotomayor—and part of that means ensuring that this process is not rushed. After all, this is a lifetime appointment,” said Rep. Hawken.

The North Dakota Judicial Confirmation Network is affiliated with the national Judicial Confirmation Network—an organization of citizens joined together to support the confirmation of highly qualified individuals to the Supreme Court of the United States. JCN supports judges who interpret the Constitution, and opposes activist judges who legislate from the bench.

A similar group has also be set up in Colorado, and though this article doesn’t explicitly mention its ties to the JCN, the fact that I found the article featured at the top of the JCN’s website suggests that this is also part of its efforts:

A conservative coalition has formed in Colorado to oppose President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court, arguing that the New York judge is a judicial activist who puts her “personal political agenda” above the rule of law.

“Sonia Sotomayor’s statement that a ‘wise Latina woman’ would generally make better decisions because of ‘the richness of her experiences’ than a white male reveals the extent to which political and personal agendas have supplanted the rule of law in selecting nominees,” former State Treasurer Mark Hillman said in a press release announcing the coalition. “Rule of law requires that laws be written, accessible, understandable and uniformly applied.”

Jim Pfaff, coordinator of the state anti-Sotomayor campaign, said it would lobby the Coloradans whose opinions of Sotomayor matter most: U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, who will vote on her confirmation. Bennet told the Associated Press Tuesday that he will support her. A spokeswoman for Udall said Tuesday that “he thinks she’s impressive” but has not made up his mind.

Other organizers of the Colorado anti-Sotomayor effort include John Andrews, former president of the state Senate; Jon Caldara, president of the Independence Institute, a conservative Colorado think tank; and Jeff Crank, state director of Americans for Prosperity.

Obviously, the JCN considers the Senators in Arkansas, Colorado, and North Dakota to be key targets for their anti-Sotomayor efforts.