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Posted by on May 29, 2009 in Politics | 2 comments

Why Not Sonia Sotomayor? (Guest Voice)

Why Not Sonia Sotomayor?

by Jim Bell

Opponents to Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation as the next appointee to the U.S. Supreme court have chosen to call her a racist based largely upon a single statement she made to the University of California, Berkley, School of Law eight years ago in a 2001 speech. This time it’s the Republicans who are hammering the point home. They are calling her a racist because she used the terms “Latina woman,” and “white male” in the same sentence which drew a comparison between the two stereotypes and offered a hope that a Latina woman would make a better decision than the white male because of how she had lived her life.

She was not discussing a particular, pending issue. What she was actually talking about in that speech was that there is plenty of historical evidence that individuals on the Supreme Court from all walks of life have made very high quality decisions—and there is also ample historical evidence available that members of the court from varied walks of life have made some very biased decisions. There is no Rosetta stone for jurisprudence.

McClatchy Newspapers reports that Sotomayor, herself has spoken for a three judge panel that ruled in support of a George Bush policy “which required foreign groups receiving U.S. funds to pledge that they do not support or promote abortion.” The three-judge panel ruled that this policy was constitutional. Abortion activists don’t like this at all. As a Democrat, it would be expected that she would have a different opinion on this matter. Clearly, she is quite capable of making decisions based solely upon the law without letting her personal opinions or experiences interfere with said law’s interpretation. Isn’t that what we need in a Supreme Court Justice?

But Sotomayor is a Democrat, so the Republicans are using the ammo they are able to dig up. This time it’s the racist card, and the only reason they are using it is because among everything they were able to find, they believe this item will have the greatest negative effect to her confirmation. If they had anything stronger at their disposal, they would certainly use it. But they don’t, so this is it. As is often the case with racism charges, those yelling the loudest have not checked their own glass house.

Rush Limbaugh would have called any Democrat nominee a party hack. That statement was no surprise. But Limbaugh is in no position to freely call anyone a reverse racist. He has frequently stated on his show that “the women’s movement exists solely to provide ugly women access to the mainstream of life.” Glass house, glass house, glass house.

Truthfully, with the nominee confirmation process as politically charged as it has been in our lifetime neither party can expect to get the type of justice they are looking for confirmed at all. They aren’t eve telling the public the truth about what it is they want in a justice. Although the Republicans are saying they want someone who will set their personal feelings aside and just perform their job on the strict basis of the law, what they really want is someone who would willingly commit in advance to having the hidden agenda to vote to strike down Roe vs. Wade and reverse the tide on abortion without any deliberation at all.

And the Democrats would love to have their own type of activists on the court. They would like to eliminate the right to bear arms under the same afore mentioned, predetermined agenda styled conditions. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the Democrats have purer motives for what they want. Take away their point of view and both sides are basically cut from the same mold.

The American public, however, would very much like to have a judge who would argue and vote based upon the law as it is written and not allow his or her decisions to be influenced by their own opinions and beliefs. It is probably a pipe dream.

So what we have here are the makings of a good old cat fight.

Right now the Democrats have the sharpest claws, so they will get what they want. I expect a lot of squawking from opponents, though. In a way, it is like watching two high school kids get into a fight over a pack of gum drops.

Although her opponents can make a lot of noise on this issue, there is nothing in her judicial record to indicate that she would be anything other than a prudent and conscientious member of the court.

Jim Bell was born in Missouri in 1950 and is a graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in Creative writing/Journalism. He spent over 20 years in the newspaper business and worked in production. He now lives in the Denver area with his wife and runs a blog called The Sensible Approach. He says: “I view myself as slightly to the right of center politically. My views are slightly conservative on the economy and foreign policy and liberal on human rights. It is my opinion that life for the average American goes smoother when there is a balance between the Democrats and Republicans in both houses of congress. Our comfort lies in the fact that a balance of power means that both parties must compromise to get anything done.”