Saturday, July 25, 2009

Something else I never thought I'd see...

First, the lead graf to this story...

WASHINGTON — Texas Sen. John Cornyn announced Friday he will vote against Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation as the first Hispanic on the U.S. Supreme Court, even though the decision could carry political risks among his Latino constituents.

And then, a comment:
Is the author actually suggesting that Latino voters are so narrowly focused on superficial properties (like the color of the Senators skin) that they are incapable of weighing issues on the merits of their positions? The very suggestion that a Latino voters only see skin color as criteria to the high court is in itself a racist suggestion. Latinos can think for themselves, they have moral standards, they can make value judgments based on the merits of the argument, they are capable of intellectual honesty. I'm tired of the MSM portraying us as disparate, ignorant groups of bigots who are incapable of making decisions based on reality rather than superficiality.

I am not really sure what to make of this observation. I don't know that the writer of the story was trying to make it sound as if Latinos put ethnicity at the top of the list for qualifications to the high court, but unless Latinos are the solid liberal voting bloc as might be suggested by their problem with many GOP positions -- and I am not so sure this is the case, considering from what I've read many Latinos are actually more conservative than their voting record would suggest -- then I don't know how the journalist was really that far off the mark. How else would one explain Senator Fischer's remark that Cornyn's "no vote will be a symbolic gesture to the largest growing demographic in Texas"? I got a kick out of another commenter basically referring to this:
Cornyn said he remained puzzled by Sotomayor's positions on the Second Amendment right to gun possession, government taking of private property and expanding constitutional rights based on foreign law...
as "baseless reasons." They look pretty legitimate to me. Especially (speaking of property rights) in light of this.
On a related note, a bit of googling brings me to this:
Kelo is now a precedent of the court. I must follow it. I am bound by a circuit — a Supreme Court decision, as a 2nd Circuit judge. As a Supreme Court judge, I must give it the deference that the doctrine of stare decisis would suggest.

I know I'm going to get in all sorts of trouble for this, but I really do wonder if she'd have given Dred Scott v. Sandford or Plessy v. Ferguson the deference they were due according to the stare decisis doctrine. Like I've said before, I can understand that doctrine. I can see how it maintains consistency in the law. But how long are we willing to tolerate decisions like the one handed down in Kelo v. New London? Why must it be assumed that every single decision handed down by the Supreme Court really upholds the Constitution when even a cursory glance at history will tell you that isn't the case? And why in the hell does no one ever talk about that either?