U.S. President Barack Obama nominates Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor (R), to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter, at the East Room of the White House in Washington May 26, 2009. (Reuters)
I am glad President Barack Obama named a woman of color to be the next Supreme Court justice. While I wish a black woman had been nominated, I am happy that a New York Puerto Rican woman from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals is the nominee. Judge Sotomayor has an examplary record. The knives of the right wing have already been sharpened to go after her. This ritual of attacking the record of Supreme Court nominees has become an unfortunate ritual, and the faint of heart need not be considered for they will surely be slashed to bits.
The Republican leadership in the Congress is going to have difficulty launching an attack against Judge Sotomayor. The number of Americans who identify themselves as Republican continues to shrink, especially among the young and among those who do not live in the deep South or in one of those states located far, far away from the mainstream: the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, you get the picture. The Republicans need the Hispanic/Latina vote desperately. How can they oppose the first Hispanic/Latina nominee to the high court, and still expect to gain voters in Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, Texas and California? Their base has become so purist that only those who pass the litmus test developed by Rush Limbaugh can be endorsed for dog catcher and beyond.
In the meantime, raise your glasses for a toast to President Obama who had the courage to appoint someone with all of the "official" qualifications, as well as that other qualification he said he considers extremely important:
HERE'S TO EMPATHY!!!