Friday, June 05, 2009

PC Expectations For a Supreme Are Doomed

The Washington Post said today, “Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor once told a group of minority lawyers that she believed a delay in her confirmation as a federal appeals judge a decade ago was driven partly by Republican lawmakers' ethnic stereotypes of her, suggesting that the tensions surrounding her current nomination are hardly new to the New York jurist.” And the NYT said, “In speech after speech over the years, Judge Sonia Sotomayor has returned to the themes of diversity, struggle, heritage and alienation that have both powered and complicated her nomination to the Supreme Court. “She has lamented the dearth of Hispanics on the federal bench. She has exhorted young people to value immigration. She has mulled over the ‘deeply confused image’ America has of its own racial identity. And she has used on more than one occasion a version of the ‘wise Latina’ line that she has spent much of this week trying to explain.” Deeply imbedded in the minds of those who comment and write about such things in the mainstream media is an ideal image of the perfect Democrat nominee and/or perfect Republican nominee for the Supreme Court. Which, at first blush, sounds like a sensible approach to use for picking someone who will have lifetime tenure and will be making monumentally important decisions that affect everyone in the United States. And yet, of course, any ideal image is totally unreasonable. Like the absurdly incorporeal ideal the Roman Catholic Church holds up as the only acceptable Christian, perfection is a standard against which all human beings must fail. The Law itself uses a much better model than either The Church or the political talking heads that bloviate, strike poses and rant. And that model is “the reasonable man”. The Reasonable Person is not and never will be politically correct because the politically correct posture is false, pretentious and unreasonable. What we know is, a Democrat will back a Supreme Court judge he hopes will rule like a Democrat. A Republican will back a Supreme Court judge he hopes will rule like a Republican. And no matter how much the public and the press demand political correctness from Supreme Court nominees from the age of five, they will not be politically correct and they will not rule like a bloodless, impartial, incorporeal, spirit being invoked at a Judging Seminar Séance. Supreme Court nominees are human beings with all the flaws the rest of us have. The very best we can hope for is that a Supreme Court judge will rule like a reasonable person.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

God Forbid The Truth Be Stated

In a 2001 lecture, Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor said,” 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 would hope so too. It’s a simple unvarnished statement. I would also hope that a black male who has been the target of racism would know more about being a black male target of racism than a white male who has not lived that life. That too is a simple unvarnished statement. But our black male President Obama said about Sotomayor’s statement from eight years ago, "I'm sure she would have restated it." Why? Tell me that! Why on earth would Sotomayor have restated her statement? It’s the God’s honest truth. Then and now, it is not racist, it’s not ill considered, it’s not mean-spirited, it’s not immoral, unfair, untrue or wrong. It is and it was a FACT. I, Joy Tomme would hope that a 78-year old female knows more about being an old lady than a 25-year-old male. Is this geriatric nonsense? Is this age baiting? Is this a wild and insane idea? Ah, but the Dems caved in to the Republican Right's white male hysteria and it wasn't long before demands were being made for Sotomayor to apologize for an honest, true and factual statement she had made in 2001. And then, as though the Republican Party needed a talking-out-its-ass icon, on May 27, the day after Sotomayor’s nomination, Mark Krikorian of the right-wing Center for Immigration Studies said, “Deferring to people’s own pronunciation of their names should obviously be our first inclination, but there ought to be limits. Putting the emphasis on the final syllable of Sotomayor is unnatural in English...and insisting on an unnatural pronunciation is something we shouldn’t be giving in to.” Cripes! But...come to did Jon Kyl (R-AZ) get into the Senate without Krikorian’s pronunciation imprimatur, or Joe Lavigne (R-LA), Gil Gutknecht (R MN) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) of the House of Representatives? Or GWB’s supreme court nominee Harriet Miers. Until we were given instructions, those names didn’t exactly roll off the tongue trippingly. Of course, if the Cheney (pronounced Chain-ey)-Limbaugh (pronounced LIM-baw) ticket gets any traction, they could solve the problem and change everyone’s name to Smith. is Krikorian pronounced? Crick-OR-ree-an? Or Cricker-REEK-an?