- - Monday, April 18, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The (Un)wise Latina Supreme CourtJustice Sonia Sotomayor thinks there are too many Jews and Catholics on the court.

That’s right, the woman who said in 2001, prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court, that a “wise Latina” would be better on the bench than a white man, has now decided there are too many of other sorts of people on SCOTUS in order to be, um, fair.

If the supposedly Wise Latina thinks identity politics should direct who is on the court, what are the odds politics are also affecting her legal decisions? Very high, I’d say.

During a speech at a Brooklyn law school, Ms. Sotomayor said this:

“I, for one, do think there is a disadvantage from having (five) Catholics, three Jews, everyone from an Ivy League school.” In answering 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,” reported Fox News.

It’s somewhat ironic that Ms. Sotomayor holds these concerns as she herself is a Catholic from New York who attended Yale. Her own awareness of what she thinks is an issue undermines the core of her own argument, that people like her can’t be good SCOTUS judges. On the other hand, maybe she’s confessing that she’s not? Honestly, if people like her are the problem (Catholic, Ivy league education), why did she have no problem accepting the honor for herself?

If she’s serious with her passion about the problem of Catholics and Jews who go to good schools, she should have told President Obama, “No, no. Not me, I’m exactly what you don’t want. Go find the right pagan or atheist, preferably one who doesn’t have an education at all. Only they can save the court.”

Whether the issue is race, or gender, or faith, the moment you begin to move the argument that there aren’t enough of certain types of people on the Supreme Court (i.e. there are too many of your unapproved type), you are furthering a leftist trope that decisions based in law relating to any type of person (as anything relating to people is), must be biased and unfair.

But that’s where law as a rule comes in. Not law as a suggestion, or law as a feeling. The Rule of Law is how modern civilization makes free society possible. It also makes tyranny less likely, which is why it so irritates the left.

Ms. Sotomayor’s position that certain types of people should or should not be on the court is less bigoted than it appears on the surface. It’s actually borne of the liberal historicist premise that the Constitution, and arguably even law itself, changes over time. They argue the Constitution cannot be interpreted strictly because it’s too old, or too out of touch with “today’s world.” Ergo, the Constitution is subjective and means nothing until we weave the special feelings of liberal snowflakes into its meaning.

Her position also exposes how empathy must be a foreign concept to Ms. Sotomayor, as she apparently believes no one can understand someone else’s circumstance unless you are exactly like that other person.

Eventually in her speech, Ms. Sotomayor did mention that decisions depend on the law, not personal viewpoints or experiences. This just confirms that even she knows the absurdity of her complaint but simply went for it anyway.

SCOTUS, of course, isn’t supposed to be group therapy nor is it a communal bath of the gentry eating grapes while deciding the fate of the Republic based on their life experiences and super special personal knowledge of feelings. No, it’s a supreme court bound to make sure law does not go afoul of the Constitution.

The Founders were men of faith and if we are to be, well, faithful to their vision and intent, it’s important that justices are not actually hostile to a part of the founding principles imbuing the document itself. Yet, that’s one of the goals of the historicists — to claim the Constitution as written is irrelevant because people have changed and therefore so must our founding document.

That’s hogwash, of course, but what better way to move that tripe along than to argue that the court can only be legitimate if justices reflect some sort of arbitrary personal diversity? Under this rubric, constitutionality is subjective.

That argument is key to the destruction of the Constitution itself as a document which transcends time and offers a foundational law that can and should be applied immemorial.

After all, a constitution is written specifically to withstand the test of time. That’s the point, and why it’s called a Constitution and not a List of Suggestions that Might Not Be Any Good in 50 Years From Now, Because, You Know, Things Change.

Yet, I’m guessing Ms. Sotomayor feels the Supreme Court would be better if we made sure there was a socialist pagan from Santa Monica College with a degree in Social Justice on the bench consulting Runes or the Oracle every time we needed a judgment about the constitutionality of a law.

I think most Americans would disagree.

Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host.

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