WASHINGTON (CNN) – Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor shared her views on judicial activism with members of the Senate during her two previous federal court confirmation hearings in 1992 and 1997.
A Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire from 1997 asked the judge to "discuss your views" in writing on judicial activism.
Her complete response to that question is available after the jump:
"At the time I was nominated as a district court judge, I answered this question as follows:
'Our Constitution vests the right to make and administer laws in the legislative and executive branches of our government. Judges impermissibly encroach upon that right by rendering decisions that loosen jurisdictional requirements outside of the scope of established precedents and by fashioning remedies aimed at including parties not before the court to resolve broad societal problems.
Judges must provide fair and meaningful remedies for violations of constitutional and statutory rights to the parties before a court. Doing so can, at times, affect broad classes of individuals, may place affirmative burdens on governments and society and may require some administrative oversight functions by a court.
A judge's decision should not, however, start from or look to these effects as an end result. Instead, because judicial power is limited by Article III of the Constitution, judges should seek only to resolve the specific grievance, ripe for resolution, of the parties before the court and within the law as written and interpreted in precedents. Intrusion by a judge upon the functions of the other branches of government should only be done as a last resort and limitedly.'
My service as a judge has only reinforced the importance of these principles. Finding and maintaining a proper balance in protecting the constitutional and statutory rights of individuals versus protecting the interest of government, financial and otherwise, is very difficult. Judges must be extraordinarily sensitive to the impact of their decisions and function within, and respectful of, the constraints of the Constitution."