FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2009

SCHUMER UNVEILS NEW ANALYSIS SHOWING SOTOMAYOR'S MODERATE RECORD ON IMMIGRATION CASES; REVIEW OF CLOSE TO 850 CASES SHOWS SHE RULED AGAINST ASYLUM CLAIMS 83 PERCENT OF TIME


Sotomayor's Rate Matches The Overall Average Of the Second Circuit Court

Senator: 'This Puts To Rest Any Doubts About Sotomayor's Fidelity to Rule of Law'

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), the chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, released a new analysis Tuesday of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s judicial record on immigration-related cases, showing she ruled against asylum claims 83 percent of the time, a rate that places President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee squarely in the judicial mainstream. Schumer said the figures, which had not previously been compiled, undercut attempts by Sotomayor’s critics to paint her as a judge whose decision-making is influenced by factors other than the rule of law.

 

“These findings should put to rest any doubts about Judge Sotomayor’s fidelity to the rule of law,” Schumer said. “Even in immigration cases, which would most test the so-called ‘empathy factor,’ Judge Sotomayor’s record is well within the judicial mainstream.”

 

Schumer’s office examined 955 rulings from Sotomayor’s 17 years on the federal bench. Of those, 848 were asylum cases, 35 were criminal alien cases, and 72 fell under the category of “other” (technical cases). Sotomayor decided 83 percent of the asylum cases in favor of the government, and just 17 percent in favor of the alien.

 

Those figures put Sotomayor right in line with the 17.1-percent “remand” rate for the entire U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, as calculated in a comprehensive Stanford Law Review study for the period of 2004-05. Sotomayor’s rate also trends very much in line for the national average for all the appeals court nationwide. The Stanford study pegged that average at 15.4 percent.

 

A by-the-numbers breakdown of Sotomayor’s record on immigration cases, compiled by Schumer’s office, appears below.

 

Total Immigration Opinions as a Circuit Court and District Court Judge                                                         955

 

Total Number of Cases Where Judge Sotomayor Ruled Against the Petitioner                                                        785

Total Number of Cases Where Judge Sotomayor Ruled In Favor of the Petitioner                                                  170

Percent of the time Judge Sotomayor Ruled in Favor of the Government                                                                82%

Percent of the time Judge Sotomayor Ruled in Favor of the Petitioner                                                                     8%

 

Total number of Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and Convention Against Torture Cases                          848

Total number of Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and Convention Against Torture Cases

Where Judge Sotomayor Ruled in Favor of the Government and Against the Petitioner                             704

Total number of Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and Convention Against Torture Cases

Where Judge Sotomayor Ruled in Favor of the Petitioner and Against the Government                             144

Percent of the time Judge Sotomayor Ruled in Favor of the Government in Asylum,

Withholding of Removal, and Convention Against Torture Cases                                                          83%

Percent of the time Judge Sotomayor Ruled in Favor of the Petitioner in Asylum,

Withholding of Removal, and Convention Against Torture Cases                                                                   17%

 

Total number of Criminal Alien Cases                                                                                                                   35

Total number of Criminal Alien Cases Where Judge Sotomayor Ruled

in Favor of the Government and Against the Petitioner                                                                                27

Total number of Criminal Alien Cases Where Judge Sotomayor Ruled 

in Favor of the Petitioner and Against the Government                                                                                8

Percent of the time Judge Sotomayor Ruled in Favor of the Government in Criminal Alien cases                                     77%

Percent of the time Judge Sotomayor Ruled in Favor of the Petitioner in Criminal Alien Cases                                        23%

 

Total “other” immigration cases                                                                                                                              72

Total other immigration cases Judge Sotomayor Ruled in Favor of the Government                                                54 

Total other immigration cases Judge Sotomayor Ruled in Favor of the Petitioner                                                    18

Percent of other immigration cases Judge Sotomayor Ruled in Favor of the Government                                       75%

Percent of other immigration cases Judge Sotomayor Ruled in Favor of the Petitioner                                                    25%

 

 

 

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