June 02, 2009
If the U.S. Senate rejects race-based justice, Sonia Sotomayor will never sit on the Supreme Court.
Because that is what Sonia is all about. As the New York Times reported Saturday, the salient cause of her career has been advancing persons of color, over whites, based on race and national origin.
“Judge Sotomayor, whose parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico,” writes reporter David Kirkpatrick, “has championed the importance of considering race and ethnicity in admissions, hiring and even judicial selection at almost every stage of her career.”
At Princeton, she headed up Accion Puertorriquena, which filed a complaint with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare demanding that her school hire Hispanic teachers. At Yale, she co-chaired a coalition of non-black minorities of color that demanded more Latino professors and administrators.
At Yale, she “shared the alarm of others in the group when the Supreme Court prohibited the use of quotas in university admissions in the 1978 decision Regents of the University of California v. Bakke.”
Alan Bakke was an applicant to the UC medical school at Davis who was rejected, though his test scores were higher than almost all of the minority students who were admitted. Bakke was white.
After Yale, Sotomayor joined the National Council of La Raza and the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund. Both promote race and ethnic preferences, affirmative action and quotas for Hispanics.
But why should Puerto Ricans like Sotomayor, who were never subjected to slavery or Jim Crow—their island was liberated from Spain in 1898 by the United States—get racial or ethnic preferences over Polish- or Portuguese-Americans?
What is the justification for this kind of discrimination?
Like Lani Guinier, the Clinton appointee rejected for reverse racism, Sonia Sotomayor is a quota queen. She believes in, preaches and practices race-based justice. Her burying the appeal of the white New Haven firefighters, who were denied promotions they had won in competitive exams, was a no-brainer for her.
In her world, equal justice takes a back seat to tribal justice.
Now, people often come out to vote for one of their own. Catholics for JFK, evangelicals for Mike Huckabee, women for Hillary Clinton, Mormons for Mitt Romney, Jews for Joe Lieberman and African-Americans for Barack Obama. That is political reality and an exercise of political freedom.
But tribal justice is un-American.
In the 1950s and 1960s, this country reached consensus that denying black men and women the equal opportunity to advance and succeed must come to an end. Discrimination based on race, color or ethnicity, we agreed, was wrong.
Sotomayor, however, has an exception to the no-discrimination rule. She believes in no discrimination, unless done to white males and to benefit people like her.
How can any Republican senator vote to elevate to the Supreme Court a judge who, all her life, has believed in, preached and practiced race discrimination against white males, without endorsing the Obama-Sotomayor view that diversity trumps equal justice, and race-based justice should have its own seat on the high court?
Down the path Sotomayor would take us lies an America where Hispanic justices rule for Hispanics, black judges rule for blacks and white judges rule for white folks.
It is an America where who gets admitted to the best colleges and universities is not decided on grades and academic excellence, but on race and ethnicity, where advancement in jobs and careers depends not on aptitude and ability, but on where your grandparents came from.
On principle, Republicans cannot support Sonia Sotomayor.
And politically, if they do, why should the white working man and woman ever vote Republican again, as it is they who are the designated victims of the race-based justice of Sonia Sotomayor?
It was Richard Nixon who brought the white working class, North and South, into his New Majority, when he increased the Republican presidential vote from 43 percent in 1968 to 61 percent in 1972. Ronald Reagan solidified this base.
But why should the white working and middle class stay with the GOP? Its presidents exported their jobs to Mexico, China and Asia, and threw open America’s doors to tens of millions, legal and illegal, from the Third World, who have swamped their cities and towns. If the GOP will not end race-based affirmative action, which threatens the futures of their children, why vote for the GOP?
Why should white folks vote for anyone who says, “We are against race discrimination, unless it is discrimination against you”?
Obama would not have selected Sotomayor if he did not share her convictions. And there is nothing in his writings or career to hint at disagreement. Thus it comes down to the senators, especially the Republicans. A vote for Sonia Sotomayor is a vote to affirm that race-based justice deserves its own seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.
But if that happens, it will not only be the race consciousness of Hispanics that will be on the rise in the good old U.S.A.