Monday, June 29, 2009

From the Ministry of Propaganda

In yet another 1984 moment in which the language is turned inside out and upside down, we get this:

She Follows Precedent

That item is a veritable poster child for defining "spin"!

We've got Supreme Court nominee Sotomayor who is clearly an appointment based on ethnicity and gender rather than judicial qualification. She is under pressure for her well-documented history of stating that a "wise Latina" would make better decisions than a white male. She seems blissfully unaware that the law is the law and a judge of any persuasion is supposed to abide by that. She is a case study in identity politics.

The question cropping up now is how the Ricci decision will impact her confirmation hearings.

The mere overturning of a nominee's opinions as an appellate judge wouldn't usually be quite as significant as this one. The problem here is not merely that the Supreme Court found her reasoning in the Ricci opinion to be both superficial and incorrect--that would be problematic might not terminally so. The problem is that the case is exactly the issue under which she is already being scrutinized.

Bad judicial reasoning is worth noting. Racism and gender prejudice from the bench is disqualifying. Bad reasoning on a racism case in support of her own ethnic predispositions is well beyond justification to deny her appointment confirmation. She was the lead questioner when the case was brought on appeal. She was leading the unanimous concurrence that the case did not even merit serious consideration and the opinion of the lower court was thorough, penetrating and correct. The fact that it was also clearly a case of ex post facto adjustment to promotion criteria at the expense of a clearly better qualified group. Throwing out the result when the rules were followed and you didn't like the outcome cannot be justice except in the most warped interpretation.

New Haven CT wanted to provide unbiased promotion opportunity to all firefighters of all races. They hired an independent firm to create a promotion test. The test was administered properly and the results of qualified candidates was racially representative. The vacancies for promotion, however, would go to the best qualified candidates, not merely the fully qualified. Wouldn't you want the best qualified leading the firefighters that respond to your emergency?

But, that wasn't the desired outcome, so New Haven simply threw out the unpleasant result. That has got to be discrimination based on race in any logical person's interpretation. You would think even a "wise Latina" would be able to see that.

Even respected conservative talking heads are saying it doesn't matter. I'm saying it will be significant. We'll see, but I'm betting there will be more roiling of this appointment before it is done.

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