Thursday, August 6, 2009

Justice Sotomayor's Confirmation Leaves Court 66% White Male

The first goal of this blog has been achieved with the Senate confirmation today of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The Washington Post reports today,
Sonia Sotomayor won confirmation Thursday afternoon as the nation's 111th Supreme Court justice and the first Hispanic on the court, a historic moment for the nation's fastest-growing minority group.
However, this blog, as it's name reflects, has ongoing relevance because there are still only two women among two women among nine justices (22%) and only one nominally Black man, (Justice I-Hate-Black-People Thomas). And so, in a country with a white male population of perhaps 30%, we nonetheless have a US Supreme Court that is 66% white male. That's a vestige of American apartheid, during which time neither women nor Blacks could vote at all.

Going forward, there will be pressure on President Obama to nominate a white man to the US Supreme Court, in order to prove that, in all fairness. Obama isn't against white men. What Obama should remember instead is that white men are still represented on the Court more than twice as often as they appear in the nation's population. Any white male appointment at this time would only magnify the injustices of the past.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sotomayor Wins Overwhelming Democratic Support from Senate Judiciary Committee

The Washington Post reports that Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the US Supreme Court received overwhelming support from Democrats and one Republican on the US Senate Judiciary Committee today, setting the stage for a vote in the full Senate:

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday voted almost along party lines to forward the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the full Senate, clearing a path for her probable confirmation as the Supreme Court's first Hispanic justice.

The 13 to 6 vote just before noon came almost two weeks after the committee's members grilled Sotomayor for 2 1/2 days, eliciting answers that betrayed little indication of how the nominee, an appellate judge for the past 11 years, would rule on the most significant issues to come before the court.

Sotomayor is President Obama's first nominee to the Supreme Court and, in addition to being its first Latina, would become the court's third female member. In choosing her in May, Obama emphasized her life story, rising from a poor childhood with a widowed mother in a Bronx housing project to attend two Ivy League universities, eventually becoming a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said the full Senate probably will not begin debate on Sotomayor's confirmation until next week. WaPost

According to Dan Balz of the Washington Post,
GOP strategist Alex Castellanos said he thinks there will be no backlash among Hispanics over this vote. He said it is "insulting that Hispanics would believe a Hispanic nominee must be approved solely because of her ethnicity and not on the merits of her achievements, impartiality and judicial philosophy." WaPost
Alex Castellanos is dead wrong. For Latinos, voting against the clearly qualified Sotomayor will be like voting against the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday was for Blacks. It will be taken and a color and ethnicity-aroused slap in the face and it will show that, as between joining political forces with Blacks and Democrats or Republicans, the Republican Party is simply out of the question.

Republicans couldn't find any smoking gun evidence, or evidence of any sort, that would disqualify Sotomayor, so they voted against her because she was nominated by a Democrat, she was nominated by a Black President, and she is Latino. That combination of color and ethnicity-aroused ideation, emotion and voting behavior will doom Republicans and Blacks and Latinos as well as women and well-meaning white men assert greater group strength at the polls, forming an unbeatable majority.

The Republicans are writing their own obituary with their opposition to judge Sonia Sotomayor.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Republicans Call Angry Groups to Testify at Sotomayor Hearings

Cross-posted at the Francis L. Holland Blog and Now Public.

Americans for a Pluralistic US Supreme Court circulates an online petition in support of President Obama's nominee.

Yahoo News report that the Republicans are planning to bring stakeholders in their political coalition into the hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, which is a way of making extreme points and offering extreme positions without elected Republic Senate members making these extreme arguments.
Republican senators will call Frank Ricci, a white firefighter who won a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on race discrimination last month, to testify about Sonia Sotomayor at her high court confirmation hearings next week. Yahoo News
Frank Ricci can be counted on to assert that as a white man he was discriminated against by Sotomayor and the rest of the three-judge appeals court panel that rejected the white mens' appeals for the court to confirm the results of a test that excluded all Black people from promotions. So, although the Senator Jim Sessions many not say so himself, calling on Frank Ricci is a way to send a message to white men all over the country that the Republicans still believe in and defend the white male supremacy paradigm.
In addition to Ricci, Republicans plan to call Sandy Froman, a former president of the National Rifle Association, a Fairfax, Virginia-based group that promotes gun ownership rights, and Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, a Washington-based group that opposes abortion.
Republicans will use the hearings to call their base together and satisfy their base that they have done what was possible (nothing but blather on) against the confirmation of Judge Sotomayor.

Unfortunately for the Republicans this pre-staged constituency versus constituency ploy will reaffirm that the Republican Party is the party intended for white men (30% of the electorate) and virulently anti-abortion people as well as gun-rights groups. It's also the party whose most vocal constituent groups OPPOSE the nomination of the first Latina for the US Supreme Court.

With more Latinos naturalizing and being born in the United States with the right to eventually vote, the Republicans just can't help themselves. They're damned with the angry color-aroused white firefighters if they don't oppose this nomination and they're damned with the USA's fastest-growing minority if they do oppose Sotomayor. So, they'll do what they always do: Go with their color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior and oppose Sotomayor simply because she's a Democrat (the party with all those Black and Latino people) and they will oppose her because she, herself, is a Latina.

As demographics face fundamentally color-aroused dispositions, the Republican are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Petition Says, "Confirm Wise Latina Woman Justice
Sonia Sotomayor Now"


View Current Signatures - Sign the Petition

To: Members of the US Senate

I strongly support and urge immediate Senate confirmation of President Barack Obama’s nominee for the US Supreme Court: “wise Latina woman”, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who now sits on U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

At present, the US Supreme Court has nine members, of whom seven are white men. This is unfair and unbalanced. According to the US Census, the nation is less than 33% white male, while it is approximately 51% female, 15% Latino and 13% Black. Although white males are the minority of America, they remain the vast majority of the US Supreme Court, just as was the case before women and minorities gained the right to vote.

It is impossible in a pluralistic society for a Court comprised of 78% white men to make wise, reasoned and sound decisions affecting the lives of a nation which is less than 33% white male. A wise and just Supreme Court requires a diversity of experiences, with the participation of representatives of the majority of Americans.

For far too long, there has been a quota system at the United States Supreme Court. The de facto quota system required that all or the vast majority of the nine members of the Court be white males. In the history of the nation, there have never been more than three members of the court who were not white males at any one time. The anachronistic white male quota system is no longer tenable as the nation strives to treat all Americans equally and to have a government all of whose branches have the consent and participation of the nation’s diverse populace.

The US Supreme Court cannot function wisely, justly, and fairly without the full participation of wise women and wise members of the nation’s minority groups, including the nation’s largest minority – Latinos. Therefore, we urge our elected representatives in the US Senate to immediately confirm the “wise Latina woman” who has earned our respect and support: soon-to-be US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.


The Undersigned