I know many people are very pleased with the “successful” confirmation of now Justice Sotomayor. It does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Out of 111 Justices, she is the third woman and first Latino to be appointed. The Republicans continue to live up to their surly, childish ways with nearly 2/3rds voting against her. In total nine came on board so this could be wrapped up.
Obama gets kudos while acting to CYA by immediately catering to Latino voters in nominating her in the first place. Not that she isn’t immensely qualified, but let this be a lesson to black voters that if “we” don’t have a cohesive coalition in place we’ll get NOTHING from Obama. To suggest this to the “he’s one of us” and “let’s wait and see” crowd is akin to banging your head against a brick wall. After that wasted effort at defending Skippy Gates – which offered ZERO value to black women – he won’t so much as stick his finger in air lest it offend some group of ready-to-be-disgruntled whites.
I can’t help but think of the Clarence Thomas appointment with ALL of the red flags presenting themselves very clearly and how he more or less sailed through. I was too young to understand what was going on then. The slight road bump was presented with Anita Hill’s testimony of his sexual misconduct and contempt he expressed towards her. I’ve researched the transcripts now and can’t believe this man got through. He was supposed to fill the Thurgood Marshall seat. So any black man was okay apparently.
I don’t care that he’s married to a white woman. I don’t care that he wasn’t elevated through the “black community” either. His contempt and hatred for blacks was obvious though. It wasn’t an expression of his free agency from a narrow definition of blackness either. Many blacks foolishly supported him simply based on shared phenotype while ignoring his history. Ever since he’s been a Justice he has attempted to destroy all collective progress that other blacks were terrorized and died for.
Which brings me to Sotomayor. If so many could get swept up in symbolism with Thomas why not with her? Yes, she is a woman but that in and of itself it NOT a guarantee that she’ll vote progressively. So while many are doing the happy dance, people had better remember these appointments are FOR LIFE and they have COMPLETE AUTONOMY. Every week I think about how John Roberts was appointed and not just as a junior SCOTUS but the Chief Justice it makes me so angry. This was the man who advised Ronald Reagan to back away from publicly acknowledging AIDS at a crucial time. It set back funding for research and discouraged a change in behavior that would have saved lives. Instead of it being listed as an epidemic Reagan remained silent allowing millions more to die than what was necessary.
So while I’m glad it’s not yet another white male I can’t say for sure this newest Justice will help usher in a roadblock of her own to stop the ideologues…or if it’s just business as usual. We need at least two more women and one of them had better be black! Of course I’m not counting on Obama to appoint one. For the reasons listed above, but Kimberlie Crenshaw deserves to be a SCOTUS. If you will recall Souter was appointed as a Conservative and often voted socially progressive by comparison to his colleagues. Of course those Republicans (white males wanting to hold on to their privilege) are still being difficult.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, took aim at what he claimed was Sotomayor’s inability to refrain from bringing her personal political opinions to bear on her rulings.“This is the most fundamental test for any judge and all the more so for those who would sit on our nation’s highest court, where a judge’s impulses and preferences are not subject to review. Because I’m not convinced that Judge Sotomayor would keep this commitment, I cannot support her nomination.” – – – – CNN
Umm…yeah whatever dude. Go call up your buddies Roberts and Scalia and ask them about separation of impulses and preferences!