Wednesday, June 3, 2009
As the rhetoric around the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court heats up the mainstream media is trying to portray it as Republicans lining up again Latinos. For example David Gergen said "If they line up uniformly in hostility against the first Hispanic woman (nominated) to the court, they risk paying a terrible price with the biggest and fastest growing minority in this country." David Gergen was never heard to say if Democrats line up uniformly against the first Hispanic nominee (Miguel Estrada, nominated by George W. Bush) they risk paying a terrible price with the biggest and fastest growing minority in this country. When the Democrats lined up against Clarence Thomas no one ever said if Democrats line up uniformly against a black jurist they risk paying a terrible price with the black community. Why is this type of rhetoric only applicable to Republicans? Almost everyone agrees that if a Caucasian nominee said he would hope that a wise Caucasian, with the richness of his experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Hispanic or black who hasn't lived that life; his nomination process would be over. And yet, Sotomayor's 2001 statement (She "would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.") is not enough by itself to rule her out. What would rule her out? She said publically that she believes that policy-making is part of her role. She has ruled that race is an acceptable factor in adjudicating cases. Her decisions have been overturned by the Supreme Court 60-percent of the time. Do any of these facts qualify as a potential reason to disqualify her for the Court? After eight years of watching Democrats attempt to sabotage almost all significant court nominees it is astounding to hear them say we need to put an end to partisanship and vitriol in the nomination process. It is even more astounding that the Washington press corp. does not point out the hypocrisy. However, these days we expect a fawning , compliant press with neither the courage of its convictions or the ability to act as a watchdog of government. The Senate should stop thinking about giving Sotomayor a fair hearing and instead think about giving the Supreme Court a fair, intelligent and qualified jurist.