Sotomayor represents a changed nation and changing diversity

090608_talkcmmntillu_p233An excellent piece at THE NEW YORKER says presidents have always tried to keep diversity on the highest Court, but what counts as diversity has changed with time.

Presidents used to preserve a New England seat, a Virginia seat, a Pennsylvania and a New York seat on the Court because regional disputes were the the most often kinds of cases heard.  Later when European immigrants transformed American society, religious differences needed to be kept balanced.  For more than a century the Catholic seat was respected and kept filled.

“As with earlier breakthrough nominations, Obama’s selection of Sotomayor has stirred some old-fashioned ugliness, and in that alone it serves as a reminder of the value of a diverse bench and society. Some anonymous portrayals of the Judge offered the kind of patronizing critiques (“not that smart”) that often greet outsiders at white-male preserves. Women who have integrated such bastions will be familiar, too, with the descriptions of her temperament (“domineering”), which are of a variety that tend to reveal more about the insecurity of male holdovers than about the comportment of female pioneers. The pernicious implication of such views is that white males, who constitute a hundred and six of the hundred and ten individuals who have served on the Court, made it on merit, and that Sotomayor is somehow less deserving.

And now with American diversity changing this president need not be reluctant to acknowledge that Hispanics, the nation’s fastest-growing ethnic group, who by 2050 will represent a third of the American people, deserve a place at this most exclusive table for nine.  As Barack Obama knows better than most, it is a sign of a mature and healthy society when the best of formerly excluded groups have the opportunity to earn their way to the top.”



Filed under Obama, U. S. Supreme Court

6 responses to “Sotomayor represents a changed nation and changing diversity

  1. The news yesterday when Sonia Sotomayor began meeting individually with Senators was the Republicans wanted to delay the hearings on her nomination. I don’t know their reasons, they don’t make any sense to me when they talk, but they may be cutting off their nose to spite their face!

    The Minnesota Supreme Court (minus two members) heard the oral arguments of the 7-month long ordeal of electing a state senator.

    Could this issue (finally) be decided by late summer or fall?

    If Franken is seated wouldn’t that take away from these Republicans their last hope of having any input the Democrats didn’t want them to have?

  2. prairiepond

    That assumes that democrats would vote as a block.

    They wont. Two words. Blue Dogs.

    Ya know, the democrats who are skeert of the wingnuts?

    They’ll vote republican every time.

  3. Bad Biker

    “As a man, I am assertive – as a woman, you are a bitch.”

    Isn’t that the white male approach to women in business and politics? I’ve seen it hundreds of time Many men (not this one or the other guys on this blog) just can’t handle a strong female presence.

    Oh! And for chrissake Sotomayor isn’t just ANY woman, she’s a HISPANIC woman!

    That makes her a spic bitch!


    • A woman friend of mine (as you would guess — a strong woman!) asks these questions — what does the man who chooses one of the weak sisters say after he rolls off? Once you’ve gone through what new makeup or music she bought today, what is there to talk about?

      The men I know enjoy the companionship, the mind of a woman almost as much. 😉

  4. Aren’t there an equal number of Republican Senators who are afraid of their constituents?

    I know for most of them the whole game, their whole purpose is to be reelected, the people be damned, the country be damned.

  5. For a different perspective (what else would you get at the ONION?) and a laugh about the undecided Senate race in Minnesota.