Saturday, May 30, 2009

Some comments on Sotomayor

I can't say I'm a huge fan of Sonia Sotomayor, Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court.  I favor a very different legal philosophy from hers.  I have concerns about her previous left-wing judicial activism, and her membership on the National Council of La Raza.  Despite my many concerns, I think a lot of people on the right are getting ahead of themselves with their criticisms of her, and are sometimes just being plainly unfair.

Criticizing her previous legal record is, of course, very reasonable.  Criticizing her organizational affiliations can be fair, too.  But, let's face it, Obama could have found an ideologically worse nominee, so let's not paint her as the worst we could get... that could come back to bite, later, anyway.

Secondly, everyone needs to stop taking people's comments out of context.  I was tired of seeing it done to McCain in the presidential elections, I'm tired of seeing it done to the Pope and other leaders of my Church, and I'm tired of being expected to do it to President Obama and those on the other side.  Pulling a comment out of context, playing "gotcha," trying to demonize the other side with mischaracterizations... it's juvenile.  And, when people are doing it, they're not talking about the real issues at stake.

Rather than discussing Sotomayor's judicial record, everyone from conservative talk radio to left-wing MSNBC have been harping on this quote:
"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
I know... it sounds shocking!  Very few of these people want to give this line any context... For one thing, it was part of a speech about racial and sexual discrimination cases.  While I don't think that I, despite being a white male, am incapable of judging discrimination fairly, I think her position that someone who's lived as a minority would have a better understanding of the issue is at very least a fair one to have.  Comparing her to David Duke over the comment is absurd.  Especially since a few sentences later she clarified saying:
"I...believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group.  Many are so capable. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues including Brown."
So, I'm all for slamming her record as a judicial activist.  I don't like La Raza any more than the next guy.  And, if you haven't noticed, I take issues like abortion dead seriously.  I, also, think it's ridiculous that people are trying to make her out as somehow MORE qualified than those currently on the court, who have very comparable degrees and legal experience.  But, let's not stoop to the gotcha level.  It just looks stupid, and it clouds the important parts of our message, like that Lady Justice should be blindfolded, that judicial activism usurps democracy, that the unborn should be defended, and the Constitution upheld.  Instead of talking about her opposition to the Second Amendment, which will inevitably be a big issue during her time on the court, instead of critically analyzing her understanding of the Fourth Amendment, an area where sometimes legal philosophies are ditched, and instead of getting to the bottom of her positions on important matters, like abortion, where her opinions are still unclear, we're wasting time on a misrepresented comment trying to insist that she's a racist.

I agree with many Conservatives that all the race whining that comes from the left is annoying.  It's hard enough to stomach from minority criminals trying to squirm out of jail... it's not any better when it's coming from millionaire white guys.

No comments:

Post a Comment