With the Nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Another Republican Chicken Comes Home to Roost:
Here's what Senate Judiciary Committee member Orrin "Still Crazy After All These Years" Hatch said back in 2005 about the opposition to Alberto Gonzales when the White House counsel was nominated to be Attorney General: "Look, this is not just any nomination. This is a nomination for the Attorney General of the United States of America. This is the first Hispanic ever nominated for that position, or for any of the big four positions in the Cabinet of any President...We work with Hispanic people all over America who are every bit as devoted to our country as any citizen who has ever been in this country. I personally love Hispanic people. Frankly, I know my friends in the Hispanic community, and Hispanic people all over America, are watching this debate, and they are sensing something very unfair going on here."
Yep, Hatch was threatening Democrats with the racist sledgehammer if they would dare vote against the dude who had commissioned the torture memos. He double-dog dared 'em to filibuster Gonzales, saying, "I believe every Hispanic in America who is interested in this country and who understands what is going on here is watching this with a great deal of interest."
Of course, that was way back when, eh? A couple of weeks ago, in response to a remark by Judge Sonia Sotomayor that "the court of appeals is where policy is made," Hatch said that it was "a problem...She would have, I think, a more difficult time if she was nominated because of statements like that...I'm not very happy about judges who will substitute their own policy preferences for what the law really is, who think that they can run the country from the bench when they actually have a limited role." Man, it'd be awesome to live with no self-awareness.
In the February 4, 2005 Washington Times, there was John Cornyn, spittling, "I think people look at - here's an example of a Hispanic born to modest means, and because of his hard work and the love and support of his family, has risen to the top levels of the U.S. government, and there are those who want to create a glass ceiling." By the way, Republicans hoped and prayed that Democrats' opposition to Gonzales would hit them hard in 2006. How'd that work out? Yeah, it turned out that Hispanic-Americans don't much like torture, either. It was the same idiotic calculation that George H.W. Bush made by nominating Clarence Thomas. People of color aren't really the generic retards that the right thinks they are: "Yeah, it's important to have people like me in important positions, but at least make sure they're not motherfuckers first."
Now that Sotomayor has been nominated to the Supreme Court, we can pretty much assume that Republicans won't be giving her a pass on shit what they don't like just because her last name is hard to pronounce. No, no, instead, you can bet that every nutzoid group with access to the internet will be posting sinister videos with evil music about how Sotomayor decided on one case or another.
Maybe they'll pull out quotes, like this one, from a speech she made in 2002 and published in (shudder) the La Raza Law Journal: "No one person, judge or nominee will speak in a female or people of color voice. I need not remind you that Justice Clarence Thomas represents a part but not the whole of African-American thought on many subjects. Yet, because I accept the proposition that, as Judge Resnik describes it, 'to judge is an exercise of power' and because as, another former law school classmate, Professor Martha Minnow of Harvard Law School, states 'there is no objective stance but only a series of perspectives - no neutrality, no escape from choice in judging,' I further accept that our experiences as women and people of color affect our decisions. The aspiration to impartiality is just that--it's an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others."
Seems like she's stating the obvious, no? But since Cornyn said today, "She must prove her commitment to impartially deciding cases based on the law, rather than based on her own personal politics, feelings, and preferences," that shit's gonna come up.
Hey, and here's another one that'll chill the goddamned willfully backwards people who believe in the impossible notion of constitutional originalism (and the fucking yahoos who have no idea what that means, but if Rush says it, it must be so), from her 1996 Suffolk University Law Review article "Returning Majesty To The Law and Politics: A Modern Approach," co-written with Nicole A. Gordon: "[C]hange--sometimes radical change--can and does occur in a legal system that serves a society whose social policy itself changes. It is our responsibility to explain to the public how an often unpredictable system of justice is one that serves a productive, civilized, but always evolving, society." A judge having responsibility to the public? Oh, shit.
(By the way, that's a great article that's also about the place of morality for lawyers and the legal system. It'll make your right wing friends' heads explode.)
So gird yer loins. Remember: Republicans have no sense of irony and the attention span of spastic five year-olds. Even when they should just walk away from this battle, they're gonna have to toss some meat to the very few constituencies who still support 'em. And it's gonna be big fun in Confirmationville.