President Trump has signaled his clear intention to nominate a woman to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
But he should nominate Miguel Estrada instead. Here is why.
In a single stroke, Mr. Trump could correct one of the most egregious and disgusting wrongs ever committed in modern Washington politics. It would also rewrite a glorious ending to a truly amazing American success story.
The move would expose Washington Democrats for the racist, partisan political looters they truly are. Most deliciously, it would destroy their fragile coalition of racial identities just weeks before a national election.
And most importantly, it would place a magnificently well qualified jurist on the high court.
Who is Miguel Estrada?
Mr. Estrada is a brilliant lawyer who was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. When he arrived in the United States (legally) at the age of 17, he could barely speak English.
But he was a true dreamer — the kind of immigrant that Makes America Great.
After mastering English and then some, Mr. Estrada went on to earn degrees with highest honors from two Ivy League universities. After clerking for the Supreme Court, he worked his way up to a position in the U.S. Solicitors General’s office, arguing cases on behalf of the government before the federal appeals court.
In 2001, President George W. Bush nominated him to be a judge on the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit, a regular proving ground for judges destined for the U.S. Supreme Court. At that time, many viewed Mr. Estrada to be on a path to become the nation’s first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.
Tegucigalpa to the U.S. Supreme Court in one lifetime. What a country!
Where decent people saw a great American success story, Washington Democrats saw an opportunity to destroy a man’s life in their insatiable greed for power and addiction to racist politics.
Soon after Mr. Estrada’s nomination, Senate Democrats began complaining about the nominee. He was a dark horse, they said. “No paper trail,” they whispered to us at the time. Not sure he was who he said he was. You know, wrong “background.” Couldn’t be trusted.
To those of us covering judicial nominations at the time, Democrats’ smears and excuses did not add up. They sounded like the kind of vague “problems” powerful, privileged people invent when they don’t want to give the real reason they are so determined to deny opportunity to someone they don’t like.
You know, somebody who isn’t “one of them.”
Then came a cache of stunning secret memos revealing Democrats’ true motivations for denying Mr. Estrada’s confirmation.
“In one memo to Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois obtained by The Washington Times, Washington lawyer Miguel A. Estrada is singled out as ‘especially dangerous’ because ‘he is Latino,’” The Times wrote in 2003 of the memos written by Democrat staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Even though they were the minority party in the U.S. Senate, Democrats went to extraordinary lengths using arcane Senate rules to block Mr. Estrada. Such a move was unheard of at the time.
After the better part of a year, Mr. Estrada withdrew his nomination. He would go down as the first judicial nominee in history to be blocked by underhanded, procedural shenanigans despite having the support of a clear majority in the U.S. Senate.
It was a major Democrat victory in the long, brutal battle inside the Senate over judicial nominations, a fight that rages still today.
All because Mr. Estrada was Hispanic. An immigrant. In the 21st Century. In America. Dick Durbin and fellow Senate Democrats blocked a man at the courthouse door because of the color of his skin.
Perhaps this should not have been a surprise, given the Democratic Party’s long, sordid history of racist politics. After all, it was just a few years after their “high tech lynching” of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, another “man of color” who did not behave as they demanded.
Mr. Durbin, who remains second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, remains just as hostile toward errant minorities. Just this year, Sen. Tim Scott, a Black Republican from South Carolina, was dismissed by Mr. Durbin on the Senate floor for his “token” efforts to reform police procedures.
Among those who refuse to forget the racist hate crimes Mr. Durbin and Senate Democrats committed against Mr. Estrada is conservative author Ann Coulter.
She points out that another great reason Mr. Trump should nominate Mr. Estrada is that by nominating a man to replace Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Democrats would become so unhinged that they would once again invent all manner of hysterical and unfounded accusations against him.
Bring on Julie Swetnick!
The sad thing here is that if Mr. Trump tapped Mr. Estrada for the seat today, Mr. Estrada very well might decline the nomination. This is understandable, considering what Dick Durbin and the Democrats put him and his now-deceased wife through 15 years ago. Again, because the color of his skin.
On the flip-side, Washington is a different place today.
Dick Durbin is still in charge of his caucus and Democrats are at least just as racist and dirty today as they were back then.
The big difference is in Republicans. Fifteen years ago they were led by silk stocking nannies like George W. Bush.
Today, Republicans — whether they like it or not — are led by an Orange Monster in the White House who is bigger and badder and more fearless than even Dick Durbin.
Sure, Mr. Estrada, it would be another nasty fight. But this time, you would be in a fight with a guy who will always have your back and never surrender.
• Charles Hurt is opinion editor of The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @charleshurt on Twitter.