Hot Air writes concerning Sotomayor inconvenient statement of her judicial stance:
And so the retreat begins, as predicted yesterday in Politico’s story about Democratic strategists nudging The One to walk back her comment and make it go away. Obama weighed in on this himself just a few minutes ago, saying he’s sure she would have “restated” what she said if she could do it again; Gibbs makes essentially the same point. Nice try, but their problem here is that she wasn’t speaking off the cuff at the time. It came in the course of a speech, something to which a federal judge would devote care in composing. Either she’s a sloppy writer, even on matters of great cultural sensitivity like race, or she meant exactly what she said. And somehow I find it hard to believe she’s a sloppy writer.
Lady Justice no longer wears a blindfold, but the American people must, not to see the irony and pathetic stance of this kind of justice and this administration. For Obama appeals to the great American heart in his heralding the success story of Sotomayor. However, there is another classic American story, as engaging as Sotomayor’s for true grit, that the American people should get to heqr at the Senate confirmation hearings and that is the story of Frank Ricci.
Charles Krauthammer hopes for a moment of illumination for America’s voters, just to be clear:
Ricci is a New Haven firefighter stationed seven blocks from where Sotomayor went to law school (Yale). Raised in blue-collar Wallingford, Conn., Ricci struggled as a C and D student in public schools ill-prepared to address his serious learning disabilities. Nonetheless he persevered, becoming a junior firefighter and Connecticut’s youngest certified EMT.
After studying fire science at a community college, he became a New Haven “truckie,” the guy who puts up ladders and breaks holes in burning buildings. When his department announced exams for promotions, he spent $1,000 on books, quit his second job so he could study eight to 13 hours a day, and, because of his dyslexia, hired someone to read him the material.
He placed sixth on the lieutenant’s exam, which qualified him for promotion. Except that the exams were thrown out by the city, and all promotions denied, because no blacks had scored high enough to be promoted. Ricci (with 19 others) sued.
Case dismissed by the three-member circuit court panel including you guessed it Sotomayor. Ricci promotion denied thanks in large part to ‘empathetic’ Sotomayor. No American success story for the white guy, because he’s white.
Krauthammer: On the Ricci case. And on her statements about the inherent differences between groups, and the superior wisdom she believes her Latina physiology, culture and background grant her over a white male judge. They perfectly reflect the Democrats’ enthrallment with identity politics, which assigns free citizens to ethnic and racial groups possessing a hierarchy of wisdom and entitled to a hierarchy of claims upon society.Sotomayor shares President Obama’s vision of empathy as lying at the heart of judicial decision-making — sympathetic concern for litigants’ background and current circumstances, and for how any judicial decision would affect their lives.Since the 2008 election, people have been asking what conservatism stands for. Well, if nothing else, it stands unequivocally against justice as empathy — and unequivocally for the principle of blind justice.Empathy is a vital virtue to be exercised in private life — through charity, respect and lovingkindness — and in the legislative life of a society where the consequences of any law matter greatly, which is why income taxes are progressive and safety nets built for the poor and disadvantaged.But all that stops at the courthouse door. Figuratively and literally, justice wears a blindfold. It cannot be a respecter of persons. Everyone must stand equally before the law, black or white, rich or poor, advantaged or not.Obama and Sotomayor draw on the “richness of her experiences” and concern for judicial results to favor one American story, one disadvantaged background, over another. The refutation lies in the very oath Sotomayor must take when she ascends to the Supreme Court: “I do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich. … So help me God.”When the hearings begin, Republicans should call Frank Ricci as their first witness. Democrats want justice rooted in empathy? Let Ricci tell his story and let the American people judge whether his promotion should have been denied because of his skin color in a procedure Sotomayor joined in calling “facially race-neutral.”Make the case for individual vs. group rights, for justice vs. empathy. Then vote to confirm Sotomayor solely on the grounds — consistently violated by the Democrats, including Sen. Obama — that a president is entitled to deference on his Supreme Court nominees, particularly one who so thoroughly reflects the mainstream views of the winning party. Elections have consequences.Vote Democratic and you get mainstream liberalism: A judicially mandated racial spoils system and a jurisprudence of empathy that hinges on which litigant is less “advantaged.”