Santorum claims liberal justices dissented in Ricci in order to ‘protect’ Sotomayor’s nomination.

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"Santorum claims liberal justices dissented in Ricci in order to ‘protect’ Sotomayor’s nomination."

Rick Santorum smiles because he likes to smile.On Tuesday, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum discussed the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling in Ricci v. DeStefano on Frank Beckman’s radio show. The ruling overturned a decision made by Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and two other judges on the 2nd Circuit. Though Santorum made the common conservative claim that all nine justices actually disagreed with Sotomayor, he went further than most, claiming that the liberal justices who dissented, particularly Justices Souter and Stevens, only dissented in order to “protect” Sotomayor:

SANTORUM: I could be wrong on this, but believe it or not, politics does inject itself into the Supreme Court and I think there were probably a lot of justices who may or may not have been on that side of that issue, but came down on that issue that way in a sense to protect her because she knew she was coming on the court, had to make sure she could get on the court. And to me, this should have been a nine-nothing decision. You know, there are a couple, you know, like Ginsburg, who is very much like Sotomayor, probably would have felt this way. But guys like Souter and Stevens and you just wonder why are they making decisions like this. This is, you know, identity politics and quotas and race-based kinds of decisions that really have no place in our Constitution.

Listen here:

As esteemed Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse noted in an op-ed this week, the court’s ruling wasn’t really about Sotomayor and her colleagues. “One thing that is clear from reading the Supreme Court’s 89 pages of opinions in the case is that Judge Sotomayor and her colleagues played by the old rules, and the court changed them.” wrote Greenhouse. “Although ‘Sotomayor Reversed’ was a frequent headline on the posts that spread quickly across the Web, it was actually the Supreme Court itself that shifted course.”

Transcript:

BECKMAN: Now, let’s talk a little bit about what happened on the Supreme Court yesterday.

SANTORUM: Yeah.

BECKMAN: The Ricci case came up and the Supreme Court overturned the decision that had been made by Sonia Sotomayor and her appeals court. That favored the New Haven city council and not the firefighters who claimed they’d been discriminated against.

SANTORUM: Right.

BECKMAN: By reverse discrimination. What does that mean for Sotomayor’s hearings in the Senate? Is it still a done deal that she will be rubber stamped or will this have an impact?

SANTORUM: Yeah, I think the fact that it was a 5-4 decision and the person she was replacing came down on the same side that she came down on is going to help her. I — I don’t, I could be wrong on this, but believe it or not, politics does inject itself into the Supreme Court and I think there were probably a lot of justices who may or may not have been on that side of that issue, but came down on that issue that way in a sense to protect her because she knew she was coming on the court, had to make sure she could get on the court. And to me, this should have been a nine-nothing decision. You know, there are a couple, you know, like Ginsburg, who is very much like Sotomayor, probably would have felt this way. But guys like Souter and Stevens and you just wonder why are they making decisions like this. This is, you know, identity politics and quotas and race-based kinds of decisions that really have no place in our Constitution.

BECKMAN: Judge Ginsburg wrote that this decision knocks the pegs out from under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

SANTORUM: Yeah, that’s, you know, this is this distorted view. You know, I guarantee you that nobody who was involved in the Title VII, putting the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s had any idea that this would be the result. You know, Title VII was to make sure that people were judged on the content of their character and race was not used against them. It wasn’t meant to use race as a hammer to make sure that freedoms and opportunities and meritocracy that’ve ruled this country is eliminated.

BECKMAN: We’ve got an editorial in the Free Press this morning suggesting we need, we need new legislation now to deal with the race issue in the work place. Do we?

SANTORUM: No, no, no. Absolutely, we do not. I mean the bottom line is that we have the president of the United States who’s an African-American. We have people that are able to rise in our society and accomplish things that heretofor back in the 60s was inconcievable when these things were put together. You know, we need a level playing field. We don’t need, you know, we don’t need a playing field, you know, every one of us has a background where someone, you know, whether you are an Italian who was discriminated against or a black or a woman or whatever, we’ve all had discrimination. We’ve all had crosses to bear throughout, throughout the course of our country where our country has fallen short of true equality. That doesn’t mean that we need to continue to make reparations today for things that happened hundreds of years ago or even twenty or thirty years ago. The bottom line is we need to seek toward equality and opportunity and stop using categories to elevate people because of past injustices.

BECKMAN: Rick Santorum, always appreciate the time, thanks so much.

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