Tag Archives: Sotomayor

SHOCKER!: Sonia Sotomayor approved along racial, partisan and gender lines

Supreme Court Justice designate Sonya Sotomayor waves as she ...

Associated Press photo

Sonia Sotomayor, the newest addition to the U.S. Supreme Court, waves to fans today in New York City. Sotomayor is the nation’s first Hispanic and only the nation’s third female U.S. Supreme Court justice — and the first Democratic president’s appointment to the nation’s highest court since Bill Clinton appointed Stephen Breyer in 1994. “In opposing Sotomayor, Republicans risk a backlash from her fellow Hispanics, the fastest growing U.S. minority. Hispanics make up 15 percent of the U.S. population and voted by a two-to-one margin for Obama in the 2008 presidential election,” notes Reuters.

So I’m looking to see who voted for and who voted against Sonia Sotomayor today in the U.S. Senate. Sotomayor today won confirmation as the nation’s first Latina U.S. Supreme Court justice on a vote of 68 to 31.

(The only senator who didn’t vote was Democrat Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts; undoubtedly his vote would have been in favor of Sotomayor’s confirmation, so that would have been 69 to 31… All 31 of the votes against Sotomayor were cast by Repugnicans; gee, which party is looking out of step with the nation these days?)

From the horse’s mouth — the U.S. Senate’s website — it looks like the vast majority of today’s “nay” votes are from white male Repugnican senators from red states.

Voting nay today were:

John Barrasso, Wyoming

Robert Bennett, Utah

Sam Brownback, Kansas

Jim Bunning, Kentucky

Richard Burr, North Carolina

Saxby Chambliss, Georgia

Tom Coburn, Oklahoma

Thad Cochran, Mississippi

Bob Corker, Tennessee

John Cornyn, Texas

Mike Crapo, Idaho

Jim DeMint, South Carolina

John Ensign, Nevada

Michael Enzi, Wyoming

Chuck Grassley, Iowa

Orrin Hatch, Utah

Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas

James Inhofe, Oklahoma

Johnny Isakson, Georgia

Mike Johanns, Nebraska

Jon Kyl, Arizona

John McCain, Arizona

Mitch McConnell, Kentucky

Lisa Murkowski, Alaska

James Risch, Idaho

Pat Roberts, Kansas

Jeff Sessions, Alabama

Richard Shelby, Alabama

John Thune, South Dakota

David Vitter, Louisiana

Roger Wicker, Mississippi

So again, that’s all 31 votes against Sotomayor cast by Repugnicans and not a single vote against her cast by a Democrat or an independent. No surprise there.

That’s 29 male votes against Sotomayor and two red-state Repugnican female votes against her — no surprise there, either.

That’s also 31 white votes against Sotomayor — I looked at the website for each of the senators who voted against her, and each of the 31 senators looks pretty white to me.

The states that these nay-saying senators are from are the usual suspects, too: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky,  Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wyoming — all but a few of these 20 states are solidly red states, and all 20 of them except Iowa, Nevada and North Carolina went to Repugnican John McCainosaurus in November. (Those states in bold are those states for which both senators voted against Sotomayor.)

It was convenient to use gun rights or the like as an excuse to vote against Sotomayor, but let’s face it: the No. 1 reason for the “nay” votes is that she’s not a right-wing white man.

And it’s clear from today’s vote on Sotomayor’s confirmation in the Senate that the Repugnican Party is a national party no more, but is the party of the South and a handful of podunk states in the West.

P.S. Nine Repugnican senators did vote for Sotomayor. They are:

Lamar Alexander, Tennessee

Christopher (“Kit”) Bond, Missouri

Susan Collins, Maine

Lindsey Graham, South Carolina

Judd Gregg, New Hampshire

Richard Lugar, Indiana

Mel Martinez, Florida

Olympia Snowe, Maine

George Voinovich, Ohio

These states went to Obama in November, with the exception of Missouri, Tennessee and South Carolina, and Obama lost Missouri by less than 0.2 percent.

Collins and Snowe are considered to be among the most liberal of the Repugnicans, and I don’t know why they don’t just switch parties already, since Maine is pretty blue.

There are a total of 17 women in the U.S. Senate, four of them Repugnican and 13 of them Democratic.  Democratic female senators from the red states of Arkansas and Louisiana and the purplish state of Missouri voted in favor of Sotomayor’s confirmation.

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Alito: ‘I have to think about people in my own family’ in decision-making

Sexy brainiac blogger Glenn Greenwald has had some insightful things to say about Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation process.

The best that most bloggers can do, in my estimation, is to make you think of something in a new light, to present an angle that the mainstream media are not presenting; most bloggers can’t act as news gatherers because most of them, myself included, don’t have the resources.

However, research via the Internet is easy enough, and I’m surprised that in all of the discussions of Sotomayor that I have seen on the Internet thus far, no one has bothered to include the latest photographic group portrait of the U.S. Supreme Court, which shows that seven of the nine justices (including the recently retired Justice David Souter, whom Sotomayor will replace) are white men. That one picture, which is whiter than a Repugnican National Convention, speaks thousands of words, methinks.

Here’s what you’re also not seeing in the mainstream media’s coverage of Sotomayor: 

In one recent post, Greenwald reminds us that Sotomayor’s appeals-court ruling affirming affirmative action — out of which the Repugnicans have been trying to make a lot of political hay for the Joe the Plumber set — was not really a minority opinion (bad pun fully intended). Writes Greenwald:

In light of today’s [U.S. Supreme Court] ruling, it’s a bit difficult — actually, impossible — for a rational person to argue that Sotomayor’s Ricci decision places her outside the judicial mainstream when: (a) she was affirming the decision of the federal district court judge; (b) she was joined in her decision by the two other Second Circuit judges who, along with her, comprised a unanimous panel; (c) a majority of Second Circuit judges refused to reverse that panel’s ruling; and now: (d) four out of the nine Supreme Court Justices — including the [one] she is to replace — agree with her.

Put another way, 11 out of the 21 federal judges to rule on Ricci ruled as Sotomayor did.  It’s perfectly reasonable to argue that she ruled erroneously, but it’s definitively unreasonable to claim that her Ricci ruling places her on some sort of judicial fringe.

What I like even more is this nugget of information from Greenwald (links and emphases are his):

At his Senate confirmation hearing, [George W. Bush’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Samuel] Alito used his opening statement to emphasize how his experience as an Italian-American influences his judicial decision-making (video [and full transcript] here):

“But when I look at those cases, I have to say to myself, and I do say to myself, ‘You know, this could be your grandfather, this could be your grandmother. They were not citizens at one time, and they were people who came to this country….

“When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.”

Greenwald comments:

Did Alito’s Italian-American ethnic background cause him to cast his vote in favor of the Italian-American [firefighter] plaintiffs [in the Ricci case]?  Has anyone raised that question? 

Given that he himself said that he “do[es] take that into account” — and given that Sonia Sotomayor spent six straight hours today being accused by GOP senators and Fox News commentators of allowing her Puerto Rican heritage to lead her to discriminate against white litigants — why isn’t that question being asked about Alito’s vote in Ricci?

As I asked yesterday:

When is the last time that a white male nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court was admonished against allowing his whiteness or his maleness or his “personal background” influence his rulings?

So I’m exceedingly glad that Greenwald provided a specific instance in which a white male nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court explicitly stated that his personal background influences his rulings and yet he wasn’t called to the carpet for this as Sotomayor has been called to the carpet for having the gall to be a — gasp! — Latina.

Racism, thy name is Repugnican.

Misogyny, you too.

Hypocrisy: Ditto.

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Stupid white men set to beat up on Sonia Sotomayor for being a Latina

Updated below (Monday, July 13, 2009)

In this photo provided by CBS, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., appears ...

Associated Press photo

Repugnican Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, shown above in an image from today, plans to beat up on U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor at her confirmation hearings because Sotomayor doesn’t think, speak and act like a fellow stupid white man does.

Is it possible for the Repugnicans be bigger fucking idiots than they already are?

Federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate for her promotion to the U.S. Supreme Court begin tomorrow, and Repugnican Sen. Jeff Sessions plans to call a white firefighter who was involved in the affirmative action case that Sotomayor ruled in — that the right-wing, stupid-white-male-dominated U.S. Supreme Court reversed — to testify regarding Sotomayor.

The Repugnican Party is sinking because it still, in the year 2009, is the party of the stupid white man in a rapidly demographically changing nation. Shifting national demographics don’t favor the Repugnicans, yet here they are, making Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings a battle between the stupid white man and the “racist” Latina.

The Repugnicans already have dug their own grave; they now are throwing the dirt upon themselves.  

The “victimized” white man bullshit might fly with Rush Limbaugh’s audience and in Sessions’ podunk red state of Alabama, but nationally, it goes over like a lead balloon. That the historically oppressive stupid white man now is the “victim” because groups that historically have been oppessed by the stupid white man — women, non-whites, non-heterosexuals, non-Christians, et. al. — are gaining more power is a big fucking joke to those of us who historically have been oppressed by the stupid white man.  

I encourage the stupid white men who comprise the Repugnican Party to beat up on Sonia Sotomayor as much as they possibly can. I encourage them to continue to criticize her because she does not think, act and speak just like a stupid white man does. I encourage them to continue their charade of being “victimized” because the nation is about to get its first Latina U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Since white people comprise no more than 74 percent of the U.S. population, white men comprise no more than a little more than a third of the U.S. population, yet seven of the nine current U.S. Supreme Court justices (more than 75 percent of them) are white men. Here’s photographic evidence:

And it would be unconscionable to the stupid white men if we had one more woman on the U.S. Supreme Court. That would be two of the nine justices being women, or fewer than 25 percent of them, even though women actually comprise slightly more than 50 percent of the U.S. population.

Yes, I encourage the stupid white men who comprise the Repugnican Party to bash Sonia Sotomayor as much as they possibly can this coming week so that the Repugnican Party’s grave is more quickly completely covered in dirt.

Update (Monday, July 13, 2009): Lest you think that my headline “Stupid White Men Set to Beat Up on Sonia Sotomayor for Being a Latina” is inaccurate and/or over the top, Sen. Jeff Sessions, the highest-ranking Repugnican member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, said this today, on the first day of Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings:

“I will not vote for — no senator should vote for — an individual nominated by any president who believes it is acceptable for a judge to allow their [sic] own personal background, gender, prejudices or sympathies to sway their [sic] decision in favor of, or against, parties before the court.”

What Sessions is saying, essentially, is that Sotomayor isn’t allowed to be a Latina — unless she thinks, acts, speaks and rules just like a white man does. (A conservative white man, in this case, of course.)

When is the last time that a white male nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court was admonished against allowing his whiteness or his maleness or his “personal background” influence his rulings?

How can one’s race and gender, which shape one’s life, for fuck’s safe, not influence how he or she thinks and what she or he values and believes?

No, Sessions’ and the other stupid white men’s real problem with Sotomayor is that she isn’t a fellow stupid white man. She would be acceptable to the stupid white men only if she acted just like a stupid white man, like Sarah Palin-Quayle and Condoleezza Rice do.

It’s as simple as that: Repugnican opposition to Sotomayor is more about racism and misogyny than anything else. If she has to be a Latina, then she should be a “good” Latina as the Repugnicans define the term “good,” just as Condoleezza Rice is a “good” black woman and Sarah Palin-Quayle is a “good” white woman.

Times are changing and the stupid white men can’t handle it. The nation’s first black president has nominated the first Latina to the U.S. Supreme Court. This can mean only one thing: End times!

“President” George W. Bush, when he had the opportunity to replace two justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, chose two white men. He could have chosen a non-white; he did not. He could have chosen a woman; he did not. (He initially nominated Harriet Miers in 2005, in my estimation, only to give the appearance that he was willing to nominate a woman. He knew all along, I believe, that his eventual nominee would not be Miers, who ended up withdrawing herself for consideration for Supreme Court justice*, but that the nominee would be yet another white man.)

For all of their talk of “reverse discrimination,” the fact of the matter is that the Repugnicans want to see only conservative white males on the U.S. Supreme Court.

I rest my case.

*Wikipedia notes of Miers: “Miers’ nomination was criticized from people all over the political spectrum based on her never having served as a judge, her perceived lack of intellectual rigor, her close personal ties to Bush, and her lack of a clear record on issues likely to be encountered as a Supreme Court justice.”

Does this sound like a nominee that Bush really expected to get on the U.S. Supreme Court?

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More on the Nouveau Victimes*

Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin waves as she arrives at a ...

Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean, attends a press conference ...

Associated Press and AFP photos

Meet the new “victims”: Stupid-white-male supporters Sarah Palin-Quayle and Carrie Prejean, who this past week was fired as Miss California, are now “victims,” as are all stupid white men in the United States of Amnesia. Sexy brainiac blogger Glenn Greenwald recently penetratingly wrote of these Nouveau Victimes, “the only victims they ever see are themselves, the only unfairness they recognize is to their own group, the only perspective they are capable of understanding is the tribalistic ones drummed into their heads from birth.”

My broad definition of the word “politics” is “the use of power.”

When power is abused, as it so often is in politics (as in life in general), I get pretty fucking pissed off. (Yes, eight long years of the unrelenting abuse of power by the Bush regime, which began with the stolen presidential election of 2000, had me fairly perpetually pissed off for years on end. See, I’d actually bought all of the bullshit that I had been taught as a budding Gen-Xer, such as that we actually have democracy and fairness and the rule of law here in the United States of America.)

Perhaps nothing pisses me off like the claims of groups that historically have wielded a disproportionate amount of power that they now somehow are “victims.”

Jews and Zionists (and again, Zionists are Jews but not all Jews are Zionists, I recognize) are perhaps the best at this — screaming “victim” when, in fact, they are ridiculously politically powerful.

I have written about this at some length recently (here and here), so I won’t repeat myself, but I will quote sexy gay brainiac blogger Glenn Greenwald (who, from his surname, I gather, is Jewish), who recently took up the topic of faux victimization in a post he titled “Tribalistic Self-Absorption” (the links are Greenwald’s):

The most predominant mentality in right-wing discourse finds expression in this form: “I am part of/was born into Group X, and Group X — my group — is better than all others yet treated so very unfairly.” This claim persists — indeed, is often intensified —  even when Group X is clearly the strongest, most privileged and most favored group.

So intense is their need for self-victimization — so inebriating is their self-absorption and so lacking are they in any capacity for empathy — that, for all the noise and rhetoric, the arguments they make virtually always have this tribalistic self-absorption at its core.

Last week, Charles Krauthammer accused President Obama of treating every country in the world so well — except for one, the one for which Krauthammer bears great love and affection and with which he was taught from childhood to identify:

President Obama repeatedly insists that American foreign policy be conducted with modesty and humility. Above all, there will be no more “dictating” to other countries…. An admirable sentiment. It applies to everyone — Iran, Russia, Cuba, Syria, even Venezuela. Except Israel. Israel is ordered to freeze all settlement activity.

The U.S. transfers tens of billions of dollars to Israel — more than any other country in the world. We demand that no country in the Middle East have nuclear weapons — except Israel. We fuel Israel’s wars with weapons transfers, ensure it is the most militarily powerful country in its region, and loyally protect it from U.N. sanctions using our veto power.

It’s virtually impossible to imagine one country that is more favorably treated by another than the various forms of largesse Israel receives from the U.S. But no matter. In Krauthammer’s eyes, the opposite is true: the U.S. treats every country fairly except Israel. That’s the country that, to him, is singled out for unfavorable treatment by the U.S….

I don’t know how much these “victims” truly believe that they are victims and how much they knowingly are misrepresenting themselves as victims, with the aim of at least maintaining the disproportionate amount of political power that they’ve already had, if not gaining even more.

Perhaps more ridiculous than the Zionists’ claims of victimhood are the claims of the stupid white men that they are “victims.”

Stupid white men (presumably heterosexual, “Christian” and overwhelmingly Repugnican) have controlled this nation thoroughly up until very recently. As do the “victimized” Zionists and Jews, stupid white men still have far more power than is proportionate to their actual numbers.

And Barack Obama, although he is the first half-white and half-black president, hardly is going to usher in the anti-whitey revolution that so many of the NRA-card-carrying talk-radio listeners seem to have believed is coming.

Indeed, if Obama didn’t act even whiter than the typical white guy, he never would have made it to the White House. The White House. He is an acceptable black guy, you see; he is “articulate” and “clean,” as Vice President Joe Biden infamously called him before Biden became vice president.

The “victimization” of stupid white men most recently has come in the form of Sonia Sotomayor, candidate for U.S. Supreme Court justice.

During her judicial career Sotomayor has made comments like this one: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better [judicial] conclusion [than would a white male judge, presumably].”

The likes of baby-boomer blowhard Rush Limbaugh, whom the largest number of people in a recent national Gallup poll identified as the apparent leader of the Repugnican Party, immediately jumped upon Sotomayor as a “racist” for such comments of hers as the one above.

Now, for more than two centuries in the United States of Amnesia, stupid white men never had to talk about their race or their possession of penises, because it was just a fucking given that if you were going to hold high political office in the nation, such as U.S. senator or U.S. Supreme Court justice, you had to be a white man. It was well understood and therefore there was no need to talk about it, that’s how entrenched white-male power was (and still is, although to a lessening extent, thank Goddess).

For Sotomayor, who presumably does not possess a penis and who is not white, life in the United States of America no doubt has been different than it has for the stupid white man. It does not make Sotomayor “racist” for talking about her minority experience as an American.

An I agree with Sotomayor 200 percent that the United States of America, which is teetering on the brink of collapse after the stupid white men have run it into the fucking ground, sure could use the wisdom and the perspective of other groups, such as women, non-whites and non-heterosexuals, to recover from the mess in which the stupid white men have mired it.

Stupid white men and their supporters, drunk and blind with power, aren’t fit to be behind the wheel, being drunk and blind. The sober vision of others is what the nation sorely needs now.

But the Zionists and the stupid white men aren’t the only “victims.”

Heterosexuals also are victims, too.

Carrie Prejean, who has a promising career in porn ahead of her, this past week was dumped as Miss California because, according to the Miss California USA organization, she was violating her contractual agreements by making unauthorized appearances (such as to deliver her anti-gay sentiments) and by refusing to make requested appearances.

But no, Prejean has blamed her overdue ousting on gays, whom her Taliban-style “Christianity” has taught her to hate.

Reminds me of how the Nazis blamed all of Germany’s problems on the Jews. (And the Nazis persecuted and murdered gays, too.)

That was one of the actual “arguments” that I saw as the wingnuts were arguing for the anti-gay Proposition 8 here in California: that allowing legalized same-sex marriage actually violates their rights.

The “argument” is that if I believe that an historically oppressed minority group should be kept down — if that is my “Christian” belief — then it is a violation of my religious freedom if the oppressed groups that I believe should continue to be oppressed no longer are oppressed.

Yes, before the November vote I saw pro-Prop 8 signs that actually asserted that to allow same-sex marriage violates the First-Amendment rights (including freedom of speech and freedom of religion) of those who oppose it. There is no more fundamental American right than the right to hate and to feel superior to another group, right?

No, it’s quite simple: If your religious beliefs preclude same-sex marriage, then do not marry someone of your own sex. But keep your fucking backasswards, Taliban-like religious beliefs to yourfuckingself. Keep your toxic spiritual sludge off of the rest of us, who have the right to be free from your toxic waste.

I suppose that those white-supremacist “Christians” who believe that mixed-race marriage is wrong, according to the Old Testament, are having their First-Amendment rights violated because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1967 that no state can outlaw mixed-race marriage. So let’s outlaw mixed-race marriage again in order to placate the members of the American Taliban!

Yes, let’s turn the United States of America into a Taliban-like theocracy, shall we? That’s exactly what the wingnut “Christians” want.

Speaking of whom, there also is Repugnican presidential wannabe Sarah Palin-Quayle out there constantly claiming victimhood, because apparently the way to show strength is to claim perpetually that you are a victim.

Palin-Quayle’s latest “victimization” is at the hand of late-night television talk-show host David Letterman, who, Palin-Quayle asserts, should apologize to all women because Letterman made some joke about one of her daughters.

No, the one who should apologize to all of the women of the United States of America — and of the world — is Palin-Quayle, who has set the women’s movement back by at least decades by supporting the stupid white male system that oppresses women. 

Palin-Quayle’s backasswards “Christo”fascist ideology threatens the typical American woman far more than does a joke by a late-night TV talk-show host. Further, Palin-Quayle and her ilk are a threat to freedom and democracy — to real freedom and democracy, not “freedom” and “democracy” as they define it, such as by stolen presidential elections, illegally spying on American citizens, illegally detaining — and torturing and even killing — individuals, and launching bogus wars for war profiteers (such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton) and for the Israel-first lobby.

You know, if these historical oppressors truly want to be the victims now, how about those of us who have been historically oppressed by them — we women, non-whites, non-heterosexuals, non-Christians, et. al. — not make them into fucking liars and start really victimizing them?

*With apologies to those who actually speak French. I think that I have that correct, but I am not sure…

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Bittersweet déjà vu all over again

President Barack Obama announces federal appeals court judge ...

Associated Press photo

Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama’s pick for the next vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, would be the first Latino and only the third woman on the nation’s highest court. Her nomination to the court was announced yesterday — the same day that the California Supreme Court announced that it was upholding Proposition 8, which stripped non-heterosexuals of their constitutional right to equality.

On November 4, we non-heterosexuals in California received bittersweet news: We had gained the nation’s first black president — and Repugnican rule of the White House was finally fucking over — but also on Election Day, Proposition 8 stripped us of our equal human and civil rights that the California Supreme Court had ruled in May 2008 were ours.

Yesterday we also got bittersweet news: We learned that President Barack Obama had named federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor as his candidate for the next vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court — and we also learned that the California Supreme Court had decided to let stand Proposition 8, keeping us non-heterosexuals in second-class-citizen status.

While I am thrilled that a Latina has been nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, word is that Sotomayor is a moderate, a la Obama (or even more so), and that she has little to no paper trails on such issues as a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own uterus, state-sanctioned murder (a.k.a. the death penalty) and same-sex marriage.

Let’s hope that Sotomayor believes in equal rights not only for women and for Latinos, but for all Americans…

P.S. I have to note that all of the wingnuts who are “arguing” that Sotomayor had better not use her gender or race or minority status to influence her judicial decisions (!) conveniently ignore the fact that the American legal system was created by privileged, presumably heterosexual white men who fashioned the American legal system after their own backgrounds and their own interests — which is perfectly OK with the wingnuts, because it’s OK with the wingnuts when the law is set by stupid white men.

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