May 26, 2009
Obama’s choice for SCOTUS has a similar personal story to his own. Judge Sonia Sotomayor “unlikely ascent to power” (Obama’s words) came from humble roots. She grew up not far from Yankee Stadium in a Bronx Housing project. The daughter of Puerto Rican parents, Sotomayor lost her father at 9 and was largely raised by her mother. Sound familiar doesn’t it?
Obama had made clear his preference to replace retiring Justice Souter with someone who has “empathy” for the concerns of everyday Americans and said he found such a person in Sotomayor. He said this about his criteria for picking a Supreme (emphasis mine):
“It is experience that can give a person a common touch, and a sense of compassion, a sense of how the world works and how ordinary people live. That is why it is a necessary ingredient in the kind of justice we need on the Supreme Court.”
It is clear that Sotomayor favors “identity politics.” All over the news today is this quote from Sotomayor from a UC Berkeley law-school speech in 2001. She informed the law students that, contrary to public opinion, color and gender do mean something in qualifications for public service:
“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
We all know what would have happened if a white male had said something similar about latina’s. The race and gender issue is a strawman and should never be a factor in choosing a judge because judges should apply the law, not their “life experiences” or their “empathy” for specific outcomes in cases before the bench. If Judge Sotomayer’s strength is her “life experiences” and “empathy” then running for Congress, where policy decisions are made, would be a better place for her rather then the high court.
Tapped by an ultra liberal president, ultra liberal Sotomayor is not going to change the ideological makeup of the court, since she is replacing Souter, who often sides with liberals to sway key 5-4 decisions. But since she is only 54 years old, she gives Obama the chance to leave his liberally socialist stamp on the court for decades to come. Thankfully her 30 years in the business gives a deep paper trail to examine. However, look for charges of both gender bias and racism if her radical opinions are challenged. Also look for the spineless moderates and RINO’s to support her without so much as a whimper.
Lady Justice is blind. Unfortunately, Judge Sonia Sotomayor is not.