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Ledbetter, Sotomayor and an empathetic statute of limitations



Quin Hillyer at The Washington Times' blog, The Water Cooler, notes that Judge Sotomayor is defending her decision in a major eminent domain case, Didden v. Port Chester, because it was required by a clear statute of limitations: Didden was too late when he filed his legal challenge to the "taking" of his property. The law is clear, I ruled accordingly.

The reason such a bizarrely stringent obeisance to a supposed statute of limitations is problematic for her liberal backers is because they keep citing the Ledbetter decision as an example of why judges should take note of "real world" effects of their decisions and show "empathy" for the victim. But the Supreme Court in Ledbetter did exactly what Sotomayor did in the Didden case, namely applied a statute of limitations -- and one that was much more clear, much more unambiguous, than the strained reading Sotomayor put on the statute of limitations in the Didden case. So if she is going to go so overboard in [mis]applying a statute of limitations in Didden, how can the lefties say it is important to have an empathetic woman on the court in order to override unimportant things such as statutes of limitations in cases like Ledbetter's? Again, I have already heard the Demo senators at least twice make reference to Ledbetter in arguing in favor of Sotomayor. How can they make that argument but still defend her Didden ruling?

Well, in politics at least, you can't spell "empathy" without "empty."

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Isaac Gorodetski
Project Manager,
Center for Legal Policy at the
Manhattan Institute
igorodetski@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Press Officer,
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.