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For the last several weeks, the media has been drilling into our skulls that Judge Sonia Sotomayor is President Barack Obama’s pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter. Although it was assumed by most of the mainstream media that the Obama administration was considering a woman replacement, no one knew it would be a two-for-one and that he would also pick a Latina.
Nearly all of the Obama administration’s potential picks for the Supreme Court were women. Although nothing is wrong with nominating a female to be a Supreme Court Justice, clearly something is wrong with choosing a justice based on gender. Making sure that the Supreme Court is stocked with diversity is, however, 100 percent gender, race, religious, and sexual discrimination. By all accounts, Sotomayor is qualified for the job. She is a Princeton and Yale graduate. She is a judge of the Second Circuit US Court of Appeals. She was appointed to the federal bench by George H.W. Bush in 1991. Still, at what point did the race, gender, religion, or sexual preference of a nominee become the first criteria in scouting for an appointed federal position?
If we, the people of the United States, must create diversity and equal representation on the Supreme Court, then we have a lot of work to do. The Supreme Court has never had any justices of Native-American, Latino, Chinese, Japanese, or Indian descent. Nor has the Supreme Court ever had any Muslim, Hindu, or Wiccan justices. The Supreme Court also has never had any homosexual justices, either lesbian or gay. With nine people and four variables (race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation) with which to work, how can the Supreme Court be culturally diversified enough to equally represent the US population? The answer is obvious. It cannot.
The US cannot afford to use affirmative action to balance every position in government equally. This strategy is setting a dangerous precedent where skills and experience are secondary to race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. This form of discrimination results in under-qualified people filling federal positions. No one should criticize Sotomayor for her qualifications, her race, her religion, her sexual preference or her gender. However, everyone has a right to criticize the Obama administration and the Democratic Party for picking a Supreme Court justice based, first and foremost, on gender and race and secondarily on qualifications. Why should race, gender, religion, or sexual preference matter when it comes to deciding what is constitutional?
A woman of Puerto Rican descent is not any more or less qualified than a man of Chinese descent. Heritage, personal life, inner feelings, and personal preferences should be of no consequence to interpreting the law. Legal precedent and the Constitution should determine what is constitutional.
Anything else is un-American and destroys our founding fathers’ goal of a fair legal system.