US President Barack Obama stands alongside his nominee for Supreme Court Justice, Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, May 26, 2009. Sotomayor is to serve as the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court.

Today, President Obama announced Sonia Sotomayor as his nominee to replace Justice Souter on the Supreme Court. Any nomination for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court deserves careful review by the Senate. Nominations should be judged by a common standard: will they apply the Constitution of the United States and the law as it is written and according to its original meaning, or will they use the lifetime appointment to enact policy preferences from the bench. This standard is particularly important for Judge Sotomayor, who has made disturbing statements about the role of judges as policymakers.

Former Attorney General and Center for Legal and Judicial Studies Chairman Edwin Meese, speaking of Judge Sotomayor’s nomination, remarked:

What we already know about Judge Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy from public statements and judicial opinions demands careful inquiry by the Senate. Senators must engage in robust advice and consent to assure that if confirmed, Judge Sotomayor would not use her seat on the Supreme Court to advance liberal policy preferences, rather than applying the Constitution as it is written.

Robert Alt, Deputy Director for the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, noted that “Judge Sotomayor’s statements about judges as policymakers, her questioning of whether judges can be objective in most cases, and her insensitive statement that the ethnicity of some judges somehow makes them better at doing their job than judges of different ethnicity—raise serious questions about her view of judging which must be carefully and fully explored by the Senate.”

Follow Heritage’s continuing response to the Sonia Sotomayor nomination.