Friday, May 29, 2009

Justice Sotomayor--Business as usual


......."""""The shock jock right-wing radio commentators furiously quote Sotomayor’s remark in a speech in Berkeley in 2001 that “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.” Sotomayor also took a direct potshot at WASP eugenicist hero, Oliver Wendell Holmes: “Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case.”

The right is trying to claim that Sotomayor is a reverse racist, but this, like almost everything the right says these days, this is not gaining any traction with the general population, though CNN is giving it relentless play. What the right can’t do is claim that Sotomayor is any sort of radical. She’s not. Her decisions have generally been pro-business and she owes her career on the federal bench to the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who nominated her to the Appeals Court. Moynihan was of Irish descent, but he famously adhered to the WASP belief that an inherent “pathology” disfigured the black family in America....."""""

Ms. Sotomayor's Berkeley PC-rant--about as radical as Oprah show chitchat--needn't trouble us overly much. Her pro-business views and bureaucratic federalism, however, should be noted. Sotomayor's historic placement, like Obama's, may please Bovinecrats some sentimental liberals, yet the racial factors should not prevent an objective assessment of her specific decisions, which have tended to uphold moderate, centrist views.

Alexi Cockburn also raised a few interesting points regarding the Judicial business. Americans have for years been indoctrinated with the greatness of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Justice Cardozo and other supposed geniuses of the SCOTUS. The facts show otherwise. Holmes, like many a WASP intellectual of 19th and early 20th century--including Winston Churchill-- supported the eugenics movement. His decisions themselves tended to be extremely conservative. Yet few history texts, or text-enforcers (aka history professors) have presented Holmes or his jewish colleague Cardozo as one of the villains of US or world History. (that said, Holmes did at times, lend some support to the Boston sort of progressivism)

Instead of discussing some Holmes dicta--some of which resembles something Himmler might have barked--the usual liberal pedagogue focuses on the obvious: slavery, hypocrisy of Jefferson and Co, the Confederacy, poor treatment of natives, etc. (though US/Native America history not really popular either. How many Americans know of say the Bear River Massacre? The LDS and WASPs working together to rape and murder). A Holmes arguably had more impact on recent history than the hypocrites of the American Rev. did, yet the corrupt judicial noble--especially the yankee sort-- simply does not register in the 'Merican mind as Hannibal Lector-material.

No comments:

Custom Search

Blog Archive