My new political hero, Senator John Cornyn, makes his opening remarks concerning Judge Sotomayor's approval to the Supreme Court. Speaking as a member of the judiciary committee and a former Texas Supreme Court Justice, he teaches principles of legislation, the Judicial branch, and outlines two paths a judge can follow--questioning which Judge Sotomayor would follow. You can read his remarks here. You will understand more clearly what a Supreme Court Justice is obligated to do.
A key principle when discussing the approval of a new court justice is that our Constitutional Framers provided a government of the people and by the people. We, The People, are to make the laws. In order for this to be the case, We, The People, must be able to collectively choose our laws, which we do in a representative fashion. Since Senators have a limited term, as do members of the House, we can elect those who share our views and reject those who don't, and in that way, govern ourselves--choosing representatives who will make laws according to our collective voice. This ensures that our laws will ultimately represent the will of the people, be it good or evil. They will only be as good and just as We, The People, really are. The role of a Judge then, is not to legislate from the bench, insulated from public opinion and vote (as with a Supreme Court Justice whose position is for life). The creating of laws is reserved to the people, and their representative group. Instead, a Justice is to apply the law, and where unclear, seek to judge according to the intent of the law. They are not to change the law, or to create new laws. They are not to limit our constitutional freedoms (by which constitution their authority is provided), but are to be limited by that constitution. With that in mind, we are better prepared to evaluate the statements and opinions of Judge Sotomayor in order to know whether or not she would vote to uphold the constitution and honor the voice of the people (i.e. laws passed by the congress) or if she would trample under foot We the People and the Constitution by which our government and the Judgment seat legitimately derives its power.
Listen to John Cornyn's remarks here: