May 26th, 2009
03:40 PM ET
12 years ago

Sotomayor SCOTUS case history: Of fish and power plants

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.

Riverkeeper, Inc. vs. EPA (2007), 475 F.3d 83: Sotomayor, writing for a three-judge panel, ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency may not engage in a cost-benefit analysis in implementing a rule that the "best technology available" must be used to limit the environmental impact of power plants on nearby aquatic life. The case involved power plants that draw water from lakes and rivers for cooling purposes, killing various fish and aquatic organisms in the process. Sotomayor ruled that the "best technology" regulation did not allow the EPA to weigh the cost of implementing the technology against the overall environmental benefit when issuing its rules. The Supreme Court reversed Sotomayor's ruling in a 6-3 decision, saying that Sotomayor's interpretation of the "best technology" rule was too narrow. Justices Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg dissented, siding with Sotomayor's position.

Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Karen - Missouri

    So? I guess CNN is all Republican? Lots of rulings get reversed at all

    May 26, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Ted:Canada

    Read them all – she is OK! – and will likely be one of your best supreme court members – "for the People by the People"

    Boy! I'm just starting to respect you Amercians – I might even come and visit?

    May 26, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. TCM

    Hmmm..."CNN summarized..." Now, that's troubling, considering on virtually every blog, for every article, the censoring is tremendous. For conservative bashing, they'll let the same people's comments appear over others....CNN...Censorship News Network.....
    all in support of Obama...

    May 26, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. David S.

    Analysis of case history shows Sotomayor as one of the most overturned justices in history. Guess she wont have to worry about that anymore, this country is getting real screwed up.

    May 26, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Chi Town

    So she's an idiot...

    Yet the sheep will fall in love with her...

    Par for the course lately

    May 26, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. John in Ohio

    Obama's replacing Souter with girl-Souter. Big deal.

    May 26, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Tracie

    May God be her guardian through this important position

    May 26, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. Jason

    If I read something like this on FOX news, I would take it with a grain of salt.

    When CNN, one of the most liberal news sources in America today, is talking about how inneffective the new liberal judge is going to be... well, that's what we call a bad sign.

    May 26, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Really!?

    This is not a record that shows the legal understanding to sit on the Supreme Court.

    May 26, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. ronie patrick

    I am in favor of the appointment and so should all of you of other color . Some of you whites will never be pleased and that is a fact. You women of all color hats out to you for standing up for a strong woman of another race who is smart, sharp and centered. Forget the men who write these foolish notes for they think with a different head and we all know that don't we ladies.I am so tired of these foolish comments makes no sense.

    May 26, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. Flabbergasted

    As much as other elements of this nominee's background trouble me, this stuff about her being reversed basically every time the SCOTUS has heard one of her cases is a complete red herring.

    Take a look at the case record of the Supreme Court. By the very nature of the court's function, if they agree to even hear a case, there is a very good chance that they will reverse it. Look at the cases from this year alone. To date, the court has decided 54 cases, and almost all have been reversed or vacated.

    Bottom line is, the SCOTUS hears over 100 cases a year, and overturns the vast majority. It's not a surprise that 6 of 7 decisions have gone against her. This is a total non-story.

    May 26, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. Moderate Democrat

    Ahh...don't tell me, your talking about how her rulings have been overturned by the Supreme Court? The same supreme court that has been, and still is, broken because of the conservative dirt bags that are in the majority? Gee, what a surprise, a predominantly immoral conservative SCOTUS over turns intelligent decisions that are for the good of all! Go figure!

    Who would have guessed that demonic conservatives would over turn things that are 100% ethical, and constitutional. But that's the GOP and their judges for you, always treating our constitution like crap.

    Next argument please?

    May 26, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. RG

    To poster – ronie patrick – Your words did not make sense. Please work on writing English next time as your ramble on showing your own bigotry and hatred towards others.

    May 26, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    In other words, to hell with the cost.

    This sounds like judicial fanaticism to me. The more I hear about Sotomayor, the less I trust her judgment. She, by her own admission, apparently thinks it's okay for judges to color their decisions by their own race and gender–i.e., judicial prejudice–and thinks it's okay to screw white male firemen (Ricci vs. DeStefano) when there are no qualified black applicants for a given position.

    May 26, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. elliott

    This woman is a very bad choice.

    May 26, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. James M. Holmes


    If you think CNN is "liberal"... I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell your naive butt!

    CNN is nothing more than FOXNews LITE!

    As far as these decisions... Looks like Souter agreed with her in 3 of the 6 overturned... and all 6 cases were overturned by the conservative wing who control the Supreme Court...

    It appears all the Sotomayor decisions that put the PEOPLE over the CORPORATIONS seems to be the common thread in all these decisions... looks like Obama has selected the right woman!

    May 26, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. The Unshrub

    CNN: This statement, "U.S. Supreme Court has reviewed her decisions on at least eight occasions," does not mean anything by itself. How many decisions has she made during that time? She has as much experience as anyone so it is only fitting that the Supreme Court has reviewed more of her dissions. CMM, start putting things in prespective or everyone will start thinking you are republican.

    May 26, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. rednecksob

    An Affirmative-Action choice from an Affirmative-Action President.

    May 26, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |