Obama's Idea of Justice
When you think about it, Sonia Sotomayor is the perfect pick for the Supreme Court — in Barack Obama's America.
Like Obama, himself a beneficiary of affirmative action, she thinks "Latina women," because of their life experience, make better judicial decisions than white men, that discrimination against white men to advance people of color is what America is all about, that appellate courts are "where policy is made" in the United States.
To those who believe the depiction of our first Hispanic justice as an anti-white liberal judicial activist, hearken to her own words.
Speaking at Berkeley in 2001, Sonia told her audience, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion (as a judge) than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
Imagine if Sam Alito had said at Bob Jones University, "I would hope that a wise white male with the richness of his life experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Hispanic woman, who hasn't lived that life."
Alito would have been toast. No explanation, no apology would have spared him. He would have been branded for life a white bigot.
Judge Sotomayor will be excused because the media agree with her and she is a Latina who will use her court seat to impose upon the nation the values of the National Council of La Raza (The Race), of which she is a member.
Indeed, she sees this as her mission. Speaking at Duke in 2005, Sotomayor declared: "(The) court of appeals is where policy is made. I know this is on tape, and I should never say that because we don't make law I know." She and the audience joined in the laughter.
Who were they laughing at? Americans who still believe the role of judges is to apply the Constitution as the Framers intended and to interpret the law as written by our elected legislators.
In Barack Obama's America, that is so yesterday.
Sotomayor's support for discrimination against white males was on exhibit when Ricci v. DeStefano came before a three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on which Sotomayor sits.
Frank Ricci is the New Haven firefighter who, suffering from dyslexia but desperate to realize his dream of becoming an officer, quit his second job, bought $1,000 worth of books and had a friend read them to him to prepare for the crucial exam.
A problem immediately arose. Seems that of those who qualified for promotion, all but one were white, and he was a Hispanic.
Can't have that. So, the New Haven City Council, under pressure from the usual suspects, threw out the tests, refused to promote Ricci or any white firemen, and called for new tests — to produce greater diversity. In other words, get rid of at least some of those white guys who somehow managed to come in near or at the top of their class.
Ricci and 19 other firemen sued, claiming they had been denied the promotions they had won for one reason: They were white.
What did Sotomayor's three-judge panel do with Ricci's appeal of the district court decision that turned him down? She tried to kill and bury it in a single dismissive unpublished paragraph so Ricci and the white firefighters would never get a hearing in the Supreme Court.
Stuart Taylor, former New York Times Supreme Court reporter and a National Journal columnist, charges Sotomayor with engaging "in a process so peculiar as to fan suspicions that some or all of the judges were embarrassed by the ugliness of the actions that they were blessing and were trying to sweep quietly under the rug, perhaps to avoid Supreme Court review or public criticism, or both."
Had it not been for the intervention of Judge Jose Cabranes — a Clinton appointee outraged that so momentous a case was being put in a dumpster — Sotomayor's misconduct might never have been uncovered, and those firemen would forever be denied their chance for justice.
The process by which Sotomayor was selected testifies to what we can expect in Obama's America. Not a single male was in the final four. And she was picked over the three other women because she was a person of color, a "two-fer." Affirmative action start to finish.
Reading 30 of her opinions, GW law professor Jonathan Turley found them "notable" for "lack of depth."
Liberal law professor and Supreme Court expert Jeff Rosen of The New Republic reports, after talking to prosecutors and law clerks, that Sotomayor covers up her intellectual inadequacy by bullying from the bench.
The lady is a lightweight.
What should Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee do?
Abjure the vicious tactics Democrats used on Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito. Lay out the lady's record. And let America get a close look at the kind of justice Barack Obama believes in.
Patrick Buchanan is the author of the new book "Churchill, Hitler and 'The Unnecessary War." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
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