Policy Documents

Acting in the Affirmative

Ralph Conner –
July 19, 2009

Although Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor recently promised she would adhere to the U.S. Constitution and the precedents established by the Supreme Court ("Sotomayor vows 'fidelity to the law,' " Page 1, Tuesday), experience suggests she will do otherwise. The Supreme Court reviewed and reversed three of the five majority opinions she wrote for the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

By their actions, Judge Sotomayor and President Obama express fidelity to the iron law of cultural competency under affirmative action. The judge's culturally competent remarks about white men and the superior reasoning capacity of Latinas does not sound chauvinistic to supporters of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. Affirmative action breeds racial solidarity.

By his nomination of Judge Sotomayor, the president extended the cultural competence of the Supreme Court to include Hispanics. He assures the voting Hispanic population that -- unlike President George H.W. Bush's appointee Clarence Thomas, who was unfaithful to the iron law -- Mr. Obama's appointee will practice affirmative action on all racial matters.

So Justice Thomas sacrifices his black credibility on the altar of fidelity to the Constitution, while many Hispanics and Democrats celebrate continuation of the affirmative-action presidency.

RALPH W. CONNER

Local legislation manager

The Heartland Institute