posted at 10:09 am on May 1, 2009 by Kid from Brooklyn
As Barack Obama begins vetting Supreme Court nominees in the wake of Justice Souter’s sudden retirement, Senate Republicans are handed a unique opportunity to galvanize. My biggest fear in an Obama presidency was always over his imprint on the judiciary. His favor of empathy and redistributive change as judicial philosophies over judicial restraint and Constitutional originalism were, for me, the final clothespin on my nose as I voted for John McCain (in matters Constitutional, clearly the lesser of two evils, if not by much).
One of the early favorites to succeed Justice Souter is Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the 2nd Circuit. Obama would score huge by nominating a Hispanic woman, thus delivering a historic first for Hispanics that supported him by such wide margins. A Sotomayor nomination would almost be impossible to oppose, given that Senators Snowe and Collins both voted for her confirmation (as did Benedict Arlen, but as L.I. explained this morning, he’s moot now). Given their previous votes, and how easily the Maine Moderates were flipped on Porkulus, I can’t see them holding the line now (the same goes for La Raza McGrahamnesty). However, this doesn’t mean that the Senate GOP should automatically let itself get rolled.
This potential nomination is a teachable moment in how the Democrats truly view race. Contrast the inevitable Sotomayor buzz with the shameful treatment received by Miguel Estrada during his confirmation process. Let us remember the Durbin memos which targeted Estrada for filibuster solely on race and ideology. Let us engage Democrats on their special level of contempt they reserve for “minority” individuals that leave the liberal plantation. Given her temperament and disposition; why, exactly, is Sotomayor a safe pick and Estrada “extremely dangerous”? Schumer, Durbin, and Leahy need to be held accountable for their despicable actions, then and now.
Note: I write this as a son of Puerto Ricans, born in pre-gentrified Williamsburgh. However, I will not allow anyone to dictate how I should think or act, based solely on my parents’ birthplace. Remember Estrada.