A columnist’s call for Republicans to grow up gets a response.
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The fact Judge Sotomayor is a woman and a Latina is irrelevant. If we are truly supposed to have colorblindness as our goal, as then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy once approvingly cited Justice John Marshall Harlan, then it should not matter if all nine justices are Hispanic women, black men, Catholics or members of the Chevy Chase Country Club. (Although, typically, when Democrats had the chance to put Bush nominee Miguel Estrada on the bench, their since-leaked memos show they decided to keep him off the D.C. Appeals Court specifically because he was — in their words — “Latino” and “dangerous.” No racism there.) The question in these situations should always be: “What’s in the nominee’s head?” Will she or he see defendants standing in front of them as Americans seeking justice through the colorblind interpretation of the Constitution? Or will they see them, as Sotomayor clearly has already done with her curt dismissal of the New Haven firefighters case, through the eyes of racial beliefs?
Doris Kearns Goodwin notes in her book Team of Rivals that Abraham Lincoln hoped to “‘penetrate the human soul’ until…’all this quibbling about this man and the other man — this race and that race and the other race being inferior’” was discarded. President Kennedy said in his speech to the nation in the summer of 1963 that “race has no place in American life or law.”
Both Lincoln and Kennedy were right, Peggy, and I know you agree with that. But in all honesty? I do not believe Judge Sotomayor believes these things at all. And if I am an “idiot” for saying so, well, then my Dad was an idiot when he stood up for that waitress all those years ago. In truth, in standing up with a handful of others I feel exactly the same way I did as a teenager when sitting down next to a scared black girl meant standing up for the right thing. I couldn’t care less about “exciting the base.” And if “the base” or “the moderates” have trouble finding their voice about a fundamental moral principle, we are in worse shape than I thought.
There are surely other distinguished women and Hispanic jurists without a trace of this problem who could serve on the Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor has a great personal story. Like my old classmates I’m sure she has many wonderful attributes. I wish her no personal ill. But for whatever reason — ethnic hubris? left-wing politics? — she has tangled herself up in the absolute worst idea American life and law has to offer. She should never come within a country mile of being given the power to effect that very old, thoroughly discredited and very divisive ideology that has done so much terrible damage to this country.
For that reason alone, Peggy, Judge Sotomayor’s nomination should be withdrawn.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?