Sunday, June 23, 2024

Conservatives Gear Up Case Against Sotomayor

Following yesterday’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Latino groups have been rejoicing at the historic announcement. Cesar Perales, executive director of Latino Justice PRLDEF, a New York-based civil rights group says, “This is the most important Hispanic appointment that has been made in this country’s history. It is recognition that we are coming of age, that we can be one of nine wise people on the Supreme Court, making decisions that affect everyone in this country.”

Meanwhile, Republican critics are gearing up to make a case against her even though they are likely not to have enough votes to stop her confirmation. Some conservative critics are labeling her as a “judicial activist”, calling her radical, pushy, and racially insensitive.

Mark Siegel, a former executive director of the Democratic National Committee, says, “I’m not only ecstatic, I pray that the Republicans do a frontal attack on her. Thirty-one percent [of the Hispanic vote] is too much for them. I want them to go down to three.”

Republicans might call out Sotomayor for her ruling on a case in which some like Rush Limbaugh are labeling reverse discrimination. In the case, the Ricci vs. New Haven case white firefighters were stripped of promotions after no black firefighters passed the promotions test; Sotomayor ruled in favor of the city which moved to throw out readmits the test.

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh citing the employment-discrimination case said,
“Here you have a racist — you might want to soften that, and you might want to say a reverse racist.”

Criticizing Sotomayor could be perilous territory for conservatives because it opens them up to charges of racial stereotyping for criticizing the intellect of an accomplished Hispanic woman.

Some fear this will alienate Hispanic voters, as 70% of Hispanics voted Democrat in the last presidential election.

Democrats note that she is the most qualified judge ever to sit on the Supreme Court bench bringing more years of experience than any previous judge. Sotomayor graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton and was an editor of the Yale Law Review.

Her quote in a 2001 speech is already igniting fire among critics — “I 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.”

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs defends her statement saying, “If you think if you look at the context of the longer speech that she makes, I think what she says is very much common sense in terms of different experiences, different people.”

Obama has hailed her humble background growing up in the Bronx citing that she has the “common touch” and would be committed to “equal justice under the law.”


Washington Post

New York Daily News