Sotomayor member of La Raza for six years

posted at 5:55 pm on June 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

We knew that Sonia Sotomayor had appeared at La Raza sponsored events; now we know that Sotomayor joined the National Council of La Raza as a member.  And this was not just a youthful piece of radicalism that Sotomayor later outgrew, either, as The Hill reports:

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was a member of the National Council of La Raza for six years, according to her Senate questionaire released Wednesday.

Sotomayor, who would be the first Latina Supreme Court justice, was a member of the group form 1998 to 2004.

Sotomayor joined NCLR while on the federal appellate court.  Oddly, though, the NCLR didn’t mention her six-year membership in their group in their endorsement of the nomination last week:

“Today is a monumental day for Latinos. Finally, we see ourselves represented on the highest court in the land,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “Judge Sotomayor’s story personifies the American Dream for so many Latinos in this country.”

“By nominating someone with the experience, background, and superb legal credentials of Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama has made an excellent choice for the entire country,” added Murguía. “The President wanted a justice who not only is a respected jurist, but also understands how the law affects the lives of everyday people. Judge Sotomayor embodies those qualities.”

“We commend President Obama for making this historic appointment and for recognizing that excellence and diversity are not mutually exclusive,” concluded Murguía.

Did La Raza not know that Sotomayor had been a member, or did they just think it might be best to keep quiet about it?

This will certainly fuel some questions during the confirmation process.  The NCLR has a number of critics for their open-borders and identity-politics positions, which would make Sotomayor’s “wise Latina woman better than a white male” comment seem right at home.  In fact, they took so much heat during the immigration debate that they eventually added an entire section of their site disassociating themselves with concepts like reconquista, Aztlán, and other separatist notions.  (Many of those criticisms apply more correctly to MeChA; La Raza did repudiate La Voz de Aztlán for its racism and bigotry.)

Of course, Sotomayor has flirted with nationalism, but when she was a college student, when people are supposed to look arrogantly stupid, wearing Che T-shirts and proclaiming themselves opposed to American imperialism.  (Some never outgrow it; they usually just remain in college and start teaching the next few generations of students.)  By the time Sotomayor got to law school, she had switched to pushing for Puerto Rican statehood, as Ed Whelan finally discovered in researching the matter.  That’s a good thing, too, because the DHS considers support for Puerto Rican independence as a potential indicator of domestic terrorism.

I’d be curious to know what drove her to join La Raza, and even more to know why she left.  Should she have belonged to an explicitly political organization while serving as a federal appellate judge?  After all, they certainly are active in legal processes for their causes, unlike the Federalist Society, which got demonized during the Roberts and Alito hearings but only serves as an academic society and not a political action group.  In any case, the questioning should provide some fireworks, both inside and outside the hearing room.

Update: Verum Serum notes something that got left out of the questionnaire.

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La Raza is just another innocent, peace-loving, tolerant and ethical organization such as the Black Panthers, PETA and ACORN. So why all the fuss?

MaiDee on June 4, 2009 at 8:03 PM

benny shakar on June 4, 2009 at 6:59 PM

No more talk of the evils of secessionism, benny? How about that.

Jim Treacher on June 4, 2009 at 8:08 PM

La Raza – the Klan with a tan.


cruadin on June 4, 2009 at 6:21 PM

That’s what I get for not spell-checking before submitting (grin)

golfer1 on June 4, 2009 at 8:36 PM


Ah, now we know why she added “Latina” in 2001.

LibTired (KO) on June 4, 2009 at 8:56 PM

But Gingrich says she’s not a racist.

LibTired (KO) on June 4, 2009 at 8:57 PM

LaRaza the Latino KKK. All of the Chosen One’s dreams are coming true in such a short time. It’s starting to look to me like he’s sold his soul to someone/something for all these good things to be going his way. Just sayin’.

UnEasyRider on June 4, 2009 at 9:01 PM

Disqualified. End of story.

DerKrieger on June 4, 2009 at 9:10 PM

Remember Palin. Keep turnin’ up the heat, but revenge is a dish best served cold.

THE CHOSEN ONE on June 4, 2009 at 9:17 PM

I take that to mean North American… in Mexico people from the US are known as norteamericanos I suspect that it is further evidence that she speaks or spoke bad English. Not necessarily political but definitely racial.

petunia on June 4, 2009 at 7:09 PM

I think you are wrong. Apparently, it was a leftist affectation among radical latinos to call the Congress the North American Congress and the court the North American Supreme Court. I suspect is was an attempt to portray those institutions as running roughshod over others in N. America not under their control. Also, she was graduating Princeton when she made the statement, so I doubt highly that her English was in question. Furthermore, she’s not Mexican, and has nothing to do with Mexico.

A comment about Soto’s senior thesis at Princeton:

Second, her unwillingness to call the Congress the U.S. Congress is bizarre — in the thesis, it’s always referred to as either the ‘North American Congress’ or the ‘mainland Congress.’ I guess by the language of her thesis, it should be said that she’s seeking an appointment to the North American Supreme Court, subject to advice and consent of the North American Senate. This kind of rhetoric was very trendy, and not uncommon, among the Latin Americanist fringe of the academy.

JiangxiDad on June 4, 2009 at 9:18 PM

I’m going to go join a group named “The race” in Old English and then run for city council. We’ll see how that goes.

thebrokenrattle on June 4, 2009 at 10:25 PM

Oddly, though, the NCLR didn’t mention her six-year membership in their group in their endorsement of the nomination last week:

Many of those criticisms apply more correctly to MeChA

except that NCLR stands by its donation to MEChA despite MEChA’s aztlan stand because MEChA does such a good job educating raza kids:

In a June 2006 Los Angeles Times op-ed, journalist Gustavo Arellano noted that all of the MEChA members of his class graduated from college and have gone on to successful careers, a rarity at a time when only 12% of Latinos have a college degree. And to the group’s founding documents, Arellano also pointed out that “few members take these dated relics of the 1960s seriously, if they even bothered to read them.”

The dated relics being the MEChA aztlan link

NCLR disapproves of the website La Voz de Aztlan not because of ‘aztlan’ but because of anti Jewish and anti-gay slurs

Getting NCLR to denounce aztlan, the concept, is about as likely as getting HAMAS to denounce ‘Death to Israel’

entagor on June 5, 2009 at 4:36 AM

I can only hope that Judge Sotomayor recuse herself from politics.

MSGTAS on June 5, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Black panthers, KKK, La Raza are all racists groups.

That is just a fact.

Therefor anyone that becomes a member is a racist.

TheSitRep on June 5, 2009 at 12:06 PM