May 26th, 2009
01:29 PM ET
5 years ago

Past Sotomayor rulings faced tough crowd on high court

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It's not just lawyers who face a tough audience in the nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court. Federal judges themselves frequently have a difficult time in persuading the nation's high court on matters of law, as Judge Sonia Sotomayor can personally attest.

Over the course of almost 17 years on the federal bench, Sotomayor has written opinions on at least eight cases that the Supreme Court later reviewed on appeal, according to a CNN analysis of Sotomayor's cases. Of those cases, five were either overturned or sent back to the lower court for further consideration. Two cases were upheld, but Sotomayor's legal reasoning in one the cases was panned in the opinion signed by entire court. An eighth case is still being deliberated.

Sotomayor issued seven of the rulings while serving in her current post on the U.S. Court of Appeals; the eighth ruling stemmed from a case she presided over as a district court judge in 1997.

In three of the cases where Sotomayor was overturned, the newest Supreme Court nominee had the same or similar position as the jurist she hopes to replace, Justice David Souter.

The list of cases and eventual Supreme Court outcomes is after the jump.

* Ricci v. DeStefano 530 F.3d 87 (2008) – SCOTUS decision pending as of 5/26/2009
* Riverkeeper, Inc. vs. EPA, 475 F.3d 83 (2007) – Reversed 6-3 (Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg)
* Knight vs. Commissioner, 467 F.3d 149 (2006) – Upheld, but reasoning was unanimously faulted
* Dabit vs. Merrill Lynch, 395 F.3d 25 (2005) – Reversed 8-0
* Empire Healthchoice Assurance, Inc. vs. McVeigh, 396 F.3d 136 (2005) – Upheld 5-4 (Dissenting: Breyer, Kennedy, Souter, Alito)
* Malesko v. Correctional Services Corp., 299 F.3d 374 (2000) – Reversed 5-4 (Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer)
* Tasini vs. New York Times, et al, 972 F. Supp. 804 (1997) – Reversed 7-2 (Dissenting: Stevens, Breyer)
* The European Community vs. RJR Nabisco, 355 F.3d 123 (2004) – Judgment vacated and sent back to appeals court


Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Robert J

    Could anyone expect any less from a neocon supreme court led by a super neocon?

    May 26, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. Jon

    Oh, my god she is the best nominee Obama has from the democrat pool of talents, with "only one case was not overturned by US Supreme Court over her 17 years of career"! This speaks volumes of her intellectual quality and impartiality of laws and intepretation of our constitution.

    May 26, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. Yossi Gestetner

    Wo, which means that the center-left high court saw her as radical too? Hmmmm, I wonder why. But who cares: she is Latina and a female. Let's all support her.

    May 26, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Boudin

    Not qualified.

    May 26, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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