US Supreme Court Justice Sonia “The Wise Latina” Sotomayor, recently opined on the necessity of diversity on the Supreme Court. Before, however, we get to that, let’s review a bit of Supreme Court history, courtesy of Time:
The next year , Nixon tried again, nominating another Southerner, G. Harrold Carswell…, reviled by civil rights groups for his earlier support for segregation. He went down in flames as well, with one Senator [Roman Hruska] infamously arguing unsuccessfully for his confirmation [responding to charges that Carswell was a mediocre judge and intellect] by saying, ‘Even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers, and they are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they?
Even as a high school student, I found that idea bizarre. And speaking of bizarre, now comes Justice Sotomayor, via Fox News:
Justice Sonia Sotomayor says the Supreme Court needs more diversity, amid the politically charged debate about filling a vacancy on the high court.
‘I … think there is a disadvantage from having (five) Catholics, three Jews, everyone from an Ivy League school,’ Sotomayor, the court’s first Latina justice, said Friday at Brooklyn Law School.
[skip] She also told the audience that several of the eight justices are, like her, from New York City and that none has practiced criminal defense law outside white-collar settings. Sotomayor graduated from Yale Law School.
Hmm. Let’s see now…there are currently three female justices, one black, one Hispanic (female–does that count double or only single on a diversity checklist?), four judges that mostly rule based on the law, the Constitution, and original intent, and four progressives. There is also one white male justice whose judicial philosophy seems to depend on prevailing societal winds. What else would be required to achieve true diversity? Would a transgender of some sort be necessary, or just a justice of any sex that likes to use the other gender’s bathrooms? Asians don’t count because they’re too smart, and conservative–people that recognize the primacy of the Constitution–minorities don’t count because, like Justice Clarence Thomas, they’re not authentic. Just what is The Wise Latina hoping for?
Some liberal groups hoped Obama, who had previously tapped Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan, would nominate another woman.
The 63-year-old [current Obama nominee Merritt] Garland is Jewish and the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Sotomayor didn’t mention Garland or touch on the nomination. But in answer to diversity-related questions submitted by Brooklyn Law students, she said she felt that varied backgrounds help justices ‘educate each other to be better listeners and better thinkers because we understand things from experience.
Ah. I think I’m beginning to understand. Highly qualified, experienced and educated people can’t properly “understand things from experience,” because it’s not a properly “diverse” experience, like only a “wise Latina” can possibly have. As she once said:
I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion.
But let’s give the Wise Latina an opportunity to make her case:
She recounted a 2009 oral argument in which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggested that her then all-male colleagues had wrongly equated a strip-search of a middle-school girl to changing for gym class in a locker room because they had ‘never been a 13-year-old girl.
Well there you go. Those male chauvinists who had never been 13-year-old girls, and who, unless they are closet transsexuals have never been in girl’s locker rooms, obviously couldn’t properly rule on the issues in such a case, could they. They are neither wise, nor Latinas. So what with the outcome?
The court ultimately ruled, 8-1, that the search was unconstitutional.
Oh. Apparently never having been an adolescent female didn’t have much to do with analysis of the law and the Constitution after all.
Sotomayor stressed that decisions depend on the law, not personal viewpoints or experiences.
Well, that’s encouraging…uh-oh:
But a different perspective can permit you to more fully understand the arguments that are before you and help you articulate your position in a way that everyone will understand,’ she said.
So which is it, Justice Wise Latina? Should the Court make decisions based on the law, or on “diversity?” Perhaps a pertinent question would be, knowing this, should Justice Sotomayor recuse herself on any and every case in which “diversity” might, in even the slightest way, play a part? Is she capable of fairly judging any case in which any of the parties are white males?
Allow me, please, gentle readers, to suggest a few, and only a few, qualities that any Supreme Court Justice must have. As you read them, I trust you’ll understand why I will not be receiving any nominations for the Supreme Court in this Earthly reality.
(1) Any potential justice must recognize that the highest, supreme law of the land is the constitution.
(2) They must realize that the sole legitimate means of understanding the Constitution is from its plain text–not penumbras and emanations–and from the clearly understandable writings of the Founders.
(3) They must understand, and be able to accept that the judiciary does not make law. If a law is unconstitutional, it’s sent back to the Legislature to try again or drop it as they choose.
(4) It would be nice if any justice were a good writer, a brilliant legal thinker, an accomplished litigator and/or judge, and a general all-around really smart person with unquestioned integrity and honesty.
If every President, if every Senator, and if every American demanded these qualities as minimum qualifications, that would pretty much take politics and social justice posturing out of the equation. It wouldn’t matter if a nominee was female or a Democrat or Republican. Their sexual orientation would be irrelevant. The only litmus test that mattered, or that legitimately could and should be applied is their absolute fidelity to the Constitution and the original intent of its authors.
No “living constitution” nutcases need apply. No “Wise Latinas” need apply. It wouldn’t be necessary for female leftist justices to lie about their dedication to the Second Amendment, because all justices would have absolute fidelity to the entire Constitution.
Wouldn’t it be remarkable, and American, if every Justice on the Supreme Court were unquestionably dedicated to the Constitution and used it, not International Law, not foreign law, not any extra-judicial social analysis, to decide cases in America? The plain text of the Constitution and the writings of the founders would, theoretically, lead to a single interpretation.
Anything less would be diverse–and mediocre.