Sonia Sotomayor: affirmative action nominee for Supreme Court? Close to far-left Puerto Rico extremists?
[SEE THE UPDATES]
Judge Sonia Sotomayor is Barack Obama's choice to replace David Souter on the US Supreme Court. Weak GOP talking points are here; Peter Baker and Jeff Zeleny (remember him?) have the New York Times' take here.
Was she selected only because of her outstanding grasp of legal issues? Or, was at least part of the selection due to the fact that she's a woman and a Hispanic? Were there more qualified possibilities who didn't happen to fit the politically-friendly uniform? If so, then she is indeed an affirmative action pick, despite the many attempts to claim otherwise we'll be treated to in the months to come. See the quotes at .
Expect the Democrats and their helpers to try to present any opposition to her as anti-Hispanic, just as they constantly played the race card before the election. Three examples at . Note that many MSM reporters and politicians will, either through ignorance or simple dishonesty, fail to note that most Hispanics in the U.S. are Mexican-American, and pan-Hispanic ethnic nationalism will only go so far with most.
It will be interesting to see whether some interesting quotes will come to light; here's one:
Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.
And, one thing the MSM won't look into - and the GOP won't discuss - is whether she's an extremist or not. To what extent does she agree with Luis Gutierrez and Nydia Velazquez, both of whom are former U.S. leaders of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party? Sotomayer is a former member of the far-left, illegal immigration-supporting PRLDEF; did she say or do anything interesting while a member? With Mexican-American leaders it's easy for me to tell their level of support for reconquista sentiments; I'm not familiar with Puerto Rican issues, and it's probably going to be difficult to find anyone to give the straight scoop on her position on issues like sovereignty.
UPDATE: Regarding that possible extremism, we're getting there. From this:
After launching a public campaign to force Princeton University to hire faculty and administrators of "Puerto Rican or Chicano heritage," Sotomayor finally got her way. But she wasn't finished complaining. Despite being appointed to a student advisory board that would counsel the University on the hiring of a "minority dean," Sotomayor was ultimately unsatisfied by the appointment of Luis Garcia as Associate Dean of Student Affairs in September 1974. Sotomayor had a litany of complaints ranging from the manner in which the advisory board was selected to the manner in which the candidate was selected.
See also this.
Meanwhile, this says:
her legal theses included Race in the American Classroom, and Undying Injustice: American "Exceptionalism" and Permanent Bigotry, and Deadly Obsession: American Gun Culture. In this text, the student Sotomayor explained that the Second Amendment to the Constitution did not actually afford individual citizens the right to bear arms, but only duly conferred organizations, like the military. Instead of making guns illegal, she argues that they have been illegal for individuals to own since the passing of the Bill of Rights.
However: that quote is supposedly from americannews.com, a site that appears to have only existed as a parked domain for several years. Consider the last quote a hoax or at least inflation of some kind until a source is provided. UPDATE: The last post has a "satire" tag; I don't think it was there when this was posted but my assumptions were correct. If you ever run across that site again, please ignore them.
UPDATE 2: Video of some of her questionable statements is here.
Back in 1978, she dropped out of the running for a law firm job and filed a complaint after being asked whether he heritage had "culturally deprived" her (link).
Per this, as a District judge she ordered a "$10,000 fine to someone who pleads guilty to a federal charge of sharing in more than $200,000 in kickbacks".
Latino legal activists applauded Sotomayor's appointment. "This is a historic moment," said Cesar Perales, executive director of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a New York-based civil rights group, where Sotomayor once served as a board member. "This is the most important Hispanic appointment that has been made in this country's history. It is a recognition that we are coming of age, that we can be one of nine wise people on the Supreme Court, making decisions that affect everyone in this country." ...During her years on the organization's board during the 1980s, the organization, then known as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, focused its efforts on the creation of majority-Hispanic voting districts and the defense of bilingual education programs.
There's more on the PRLDEF here, specifically relating to their campaign against Bush nominee Miguel Estrada.
UPDATE 3: From this: Three of the five majority opinions written by Judge Sotomayor for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and reviewed by the Supreme Court were reversed...
 Earlier this month, Pat Leahy said: "I would like to see, certainly, more women on the court. Having only one woman on the Supreme Court does not reflect the makeup of the United States. I think we should have more women. We should have more minorities." And, Arlen Specter said: "I would like to see somebody with broader experience... We have a very diverse country. We need more people to express a woman's point of view or a minority point of view, Hispanic or African American ... somebody who's done something more than wear a black robe for most of their lives."
However, those are small potatoes compared to "Hispanics See Stars Aligned on High Court
For President, Diversity Is One Of Many Factors" by Robert Barnes and Michael Shear of the Washington Post (link). Anyone who doesn't think her race played a major role should read that.
 Adam Serwer of TAPPED says "In case you're wondering whether [John Yoo] got the memo on attacking Sotomayor for being Puerto Rican, he did" and provides a quote in which Yoo doesn't attack her for her race but instead attacks Obama's affirmative action policies relating to the pick. Whether Serwer is just being misleading or can't figure out the difference is unclear.
Adam Nagourney of the NYT says: "President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court has put the Republican Party in a bind, as it weighs the cost of aggressively opposing Mr. Obama’s attempt to put the first Hispanic on the high court at a time when the party has struggled with sharp setbacks in its effort to appeal to Hispanic voters." See this discussion of the comments from Mark McKinnon and Matthew Dowd in that article.
"Talk radio is likely to be less careful and to be gleefully reposted by Media Matters and widely circulated in the Spanish-language media. Fierce opposition from the right could push Florida and the West out of reach."
Obviously, any differences between Puerto Ricans, Cubans and Mexican-Americans is completely lost on him.