Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sotomayor and Sides

I think LarryNiven may be too kind to "our side" when he says, in reference to the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court,

... there are certainly people for whom "the right hates her" is a convincing reason to declare in favor of Sotomayor even without knowing anything else about her.
At this stage, to put it bluntly -- and in a way I know will not be pleasing to all members of "our side," certainly not at first blush -- what precious little we know of this nominee is obscuring of what is supposed to matter about her potential as a Supreme Court Justice.

It's not that being Hispanic, female, and having risen from humble beginnings to a distinguished academic and professional altitude is inconsequential; it's that the consequences of such a background don't, themselves, declare any allegiances or align her with any particular vision. Her background has not been shown to be productive of qualities, dispositions, or capacities that "our side" would want from a high court nominee. Clarence Thomas and Thurgood Marshall had similar backgrounds, considered in terms of race, gender, childhood circumstances, and education, and yet no one would confuse the two as jurists.

Sotomayor's demographic background is carrying a lot of freight for "our side," which implies it is carrying similar amounts of freight for "the other side" -- in both cases, it is too much freight. I say all should pause and try to understand exactly which side Sotomayor is on based on her record as a judge and advocate, and declare itself after this is established.


Anonymous said...

I fully expect to see republican hatred being unleashed on this woman. The democrats job is to make sure this doesn't happen and put a stop to it. They have the majority. Deny them their platform of NO and obstructionism. The era of Bush-isms is over. Time for a new beginning. Republicans are clueless as to how much trouble they are in with the people. Trying to destroy this lady will only get them in worse with hispanics and women. The party of No is surely self-destructing in front of our eyes. Fools!

larryniven said...

Also true - I somehow managed to forget about the whole Hispanic woman thing, but you're right to put that in the same category.