May 26th, 2009
05:11 PM ET
10 years ago

Sotomayor SCOTUS case history: Investor lawsuits

WASHINGTON (CNN) – During Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's 17 years as a federal judge, the U.S. Supreme Court has reviewed her decisions on at least eight occasions. CNN has reviewed those cases and has summarized each in a series of posts. The names and citations reflect the cases as they were known when they first came before Sotomayor.

Dabit vs. Merrill Lynch (2005), 395 F.3d 25: In a 2005 ruling, Sotomayor overturned a lower court decision and allowed investors to bring certain types of fraud lawsuits against investment firms in state court rather than in federal court. The lower court had agreed with the defendant Merrill Lynch's argument that the suits were invalid because the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 required that such suits be brought only in federal court. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned Sotomayor's ruling in an 8-0 decision, saying that the federal interest in overseeing securities market cases prevails, and that doing otherwise could give rise to "wasteful, duplicative litigation." Justice Alito, who was not on the Court when the case was argued, did not participate in the decision.

Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Puzzled

    The nomination of Sotomayor proves there is room for racism, mediocrity, and boorishness on the Supreme Court. This would be laughable if it were not so tragic.

    May 26, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. Tulsa

    In response to a post from another story about the SCOTUS from
    Really!? May 26th, 2009 4:34 pm ET
    This is not a record that shows the legal understanding to sit on the Supreme Court.
    Your not real bright, are you?
    How many of decisions has she made?
    How many of the other Justices have had rulings overturned by the Supreme Court?
    How often does the SCOTUS validate lower court rulings?
    Don't know, do you?
    Brush up on the material before spouting your ignorance.

    May 26, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Tim

    The Supreme Court reviews only a small fraction of the cases decided by the appellate courts. Sotomayor has been on the 2nd circuit bench since 1998. In the 10 plus years on that court, she has personally written 228 decisions for the majority (not dissents). Of those 228 decisions, the Supremes reviewed 8, and overturned 6. While I have not had the opportunity to check to see in how many of these opinions the losing party sought certiorari, if you want to talk percentages, go with the real number – 6 overturned out of 228. In other words, she was only overturned about 2.7% of the time. Pretty good record in my opinion.

    May 26, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. James M. Holmes

    2% of her opinions overturned... 5 of the 6 by the conservative wing of the Supreme Court and the conservative want us to believe she is a bad justice? WOW... will they just stoop to any level?

    Think how much better this country would be today if just one Supremem Court case was overturned – Gove vs. Bush!

    Pretty safe to say that the Supremem Court isn't infalliable after that decision...

    May 26, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  5. Mike in MN

    How can she be qualified for the Supreme court when the Supreme court says she got 6 out of 7 of her cases reviewed wrong? And the on the one she got right her leagle arguments were panned by the higher court.
    Plus she is flat out a racist. A latino women will produce better rulings than a white maleshe claims? That is a racist statement! Does that incude the white liberal mail judge she is replacing? Does that include justice Stevens? Or just white male conservative judges.
    A racist judge has no place on any court in our nation!!!! Not a white male racist judge or a black male racist judge or a female, latino racist judge.

    May 26, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. Sick of Dirty Obama

    sotomayor = quota

    May 26, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  7. Carroll

    Three is a saying: "The Supreme Court is right because it's last; it's not last because it's right." That is, there is nothing inherently better or smarter about a Supreme Court decision than the appellate decision that it reviews; it's just that the Supreme Court decision is deemed "right" because it's the last word on the subject because there is no further appeal. Thus, being reversed isn't a sign of inadequacy or anything else; rather, it is a sign that 5 people with more power than you happen to disagree with you.

    May 26, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  8. lovable liberal

    The one completely unifying theme of this Supreme Court is the protection of Wall St.

    May 26, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  9. tedious898

    Puzzled May 26th, 2009 5:46 pm ET

    The nomination of Sotomayor proves there is room for racism, mediocrity, and boorishness on the Supreme Court. This would be laughable if it were not so tragic.


    You're puzzled because you failed the 1st grade reading comp test for Jack and Jill. Listen, settle down and let the adults handle it from here. We apologize but Harriett Myers wasn't up for nomination this time. We would like to go with the skilled, educated, experienced juris this time....not the political hacks nominated by college drop outs

    May 26, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. Nick A

    On her appellate opinions could you please outline the vote of the entire panel since most appellate cases are decided by at least 3 judges. Judge Sotomayor didn't "overturn the lower court's decision"; an appellant panel that she was a part of did.

    May 26, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. Jeff

    True she got into Princeton and Yale Law School. Obama cited these two schools and her intellect as part of the reason why he nominated her. However, I wonder if she got into these schools due to merit or due to "affirmative action". I would like to know how her SAT and LSAT compared to those of her class that year.

    May 26, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  12. John S

    What these Republican morons seem to forget is that the records of all SCOTUS members are not even close to hers. She has at least been dead on with her decisions and those 6 which have been overturned is just a small percentage of the ones she has made. Get a life Repugs. This is a done deal and you cannot do a thing about it. Hahahaha

    May 26, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  13. Jon

    It does say something that her decisions that went to the Supreme Court tend to get overruled. It shows when law goes to the that level she is lacking. What I find funny is when it was known that Obama was going pick the next justice, just about every news outlet predicted a woman, and a minority race, and a few even went gay. I am glad the news get somethings right nowadays, even though what they are getting right are what should be the most wrong.

    May 26, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  14. J in NJ

    @ Tim nice try but your ability to manipulate numbers is flawed.

    Using your own words "Of those 228 decisions, the Supremes reviewed 8, and overturned 6." So it is absolutely fallacious for you to say "6 overturned out of 228". "If you want to talk percentages, go with the real number" of the 8 cases reviewed by the SCOTUS 6 were overturned (and one by a 8-0 thrashing). In other words she was only overturned about 75% of the time. Pretty bad record in any opinion!

    Actually that number is even flawed because one of the eight is still under review I believe so we should actually say 6 of 7 overturned for 87.5% failure rate!!!!!!!!!! Just tryin to use the "real number".

    May 26, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  15. John G

    Typical democrat, she allows multiple laws and jurisdictions to cover a single act. More government is NOT the answer.

    May 26, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  16. Wow!

    In my book, that's what you call an absolute beat down.

    Apparently, this wasn't the only time. In fact, the majority of her decisions that have gone to the Supreme Court have been overturned. Hmmm....that's not a very good record.

    If she continues to reason as she has, that means she will be at odds with the court the majority of the time. Alternatively, it means she simply doesn't have the intellectual capacity that Obama would have us believe. Else, how would she have been on the wrong side of the SC's decisions more often then not?

    May 26, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. Simmy


    You would be tragic if you weren't so laughable.....Buy a life......Judge Sotomayor is an excellent choice....Her race and religion have nothing to do with her 'body of work.'

    May 26, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  18. Park

    Hey Tulsa. you aren't too bright either. Do you know the different between "you're" and "your"? Guess not. I can't even read your post between the grammar problems.

    May 26, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  19. God Bless America

    Tim, this is an artificial number. You pick all cases without any justification of doing so. Why not consider the reversal percentage out of the cases which were reviewed? This way, we get a 75% reversal rate of the cases where cert was granted. In other way, on hard-to-decide issues, she decided in correctly 3 times more often than correctly

    May 26, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  20. KRN

    So Tulsa – what ARE the answers? Or are you yet another "NO-monger" willing to slam anyone who supports an opposing view to yours?
    Why don't we wait for the hearings to see how qualified she is...

    May 27, 2009 08:49 am at 8:49 am |