Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mark Steyn: 'The Limits of Sotomayorian Empathy'; is Tasini nominee's achilles heel?

The right hasn't quite settled on their line of attack against Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Could it be her views on...copyright? Mark Steyn thinks so:

The Limits of Sotomayorian Empathy [Mark Steyn]

I was interested to see that Sonia Sotomayor was the judge in the New York Times v. Tasini case, a case close to my heart....

Judge Sotomayor cheerfully sided with the Times, a ruling that (as appears to be not uncommon with this jurist) was subsequently overturned at the Supreme Court — 7-2 (with David Souter being among the seven). Despite being a "wise Latina" enjoying all the benefits of "the richness of her experiences," she was sadly unable to empathize with the impoverished writers in their garrets eking out a thin crust from their freelance contributions to the appallingly low-paying Sulzberger GloboCorp Inc.

... [A]lmost all "diversity" issues have a "property rights" component. I don't think Justice Sotomayor will be any great friend of the latter. And, alas, there will now be no David Souter to overturn her decisions.

For the record, I don't think it's quite fair to judge Judge Sotomayor's copyright record based solely on her Tasini decision. She has demonstrated an admirable zeal in addressing infringement, and her Seinfeld Aptitude Test opinion evidences a true respect for copyright owners' rights. I'm told Judge Sotomayor has about 73 other copyright decisions. I look forward to reading them all.


  1. It's probably not fair, but I think I'd be even more worried if she demonstrated a zeal in addressing infringment of large companies' copyrights, but decided to allow big business in the form of the New York Times ignore the copyrights of freelancers. Hopefully the record won't show that, but to me that would be much worse than someone who has zeal and respect for copyrights all the time or none.

  2. And since when is Mark Steyn an authority on US copyright law?


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