Forgive me but I ask that you indulge me in a bit of politics, but it has everything to do about our communities.
I don’t always agree with Latino syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette but I wholeheartedly endorse the sentiment he expressed last week on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews:” “we’re due!” Yes we are! He went on to mention Puerto Rican judge Sonia Sotomayor.
Ruben’s appearance from “Hardball” is below:
I know this isn’t an election campaign but it’s well known that the Obama Administration has been inundated with suggestions. Well, we shouldn’t sit back and watch the train wiz pass us by.
My suggestion? I agree with Ruben: Judge Sotomayor from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.
Let’s start with credentials. There are very few Latinos on the federal bench, especially the federal circuit courts and Judge Sotomayor is one of those select few…she’s covered.
“Real world experience?” During the campaign, and soon after news about Justice Souter’s retirement came out, President Obama was very open about his criteria for Supreme Court judges. He said that “we need somebody who’s got the heart–the empathy–to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom…the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor…”
Judge Sotomayor is a child of the housing projects of the South Bronx, and of a single-parent household (her father died when she was nine). She went on to Spellman H.S., then Princeton, and then Yale Law School. She’s a survivor, as she was diagnosed at age eight with something unfortunately all too familiar with Hispanics, diabetes. A Bronx girl done good…no, done brilliantly! Oh yeah, her first language was Spanish.
Interestingly, both of New York’s Senators (Schumer and Gillibrand) sent a letter to Obama on April 9, before Souter made his announcement, urging Obama to nominate Sotomayor should there be a Supreme Court vacancy. Also, when President Clinton elevated Sotomayor to the 2nd Circuit, she won Senate confirmation on a 67-29 vote–her supporters included seven Republicans who are still serving in the Senate.
If you agree with Ruben and me, and you have the time, by all means contact the person who’s managing the selection process for Obama:
Office of White House Counsel
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500