Friday, September 05, 2003
More on Miguel Estrada: There are two good articles today on the Democrats' borking of appellate court nominee Miguel Estrada.
The first, by Robert Alt makes the case that Democrats filibustered Miguel Estrada because he is a Hispanic who left the reservation. That is, you're not allowed to be a member of a minority group and a conservative.
Democrats will inevitably respond that they opposed Estrada because they believed that he was conservative. But they had less reason to believe he was conservative than (D.C. Circuit Court Justice John) Roberts. This demonstrates what is at the heart of the issue: They opposed him more vehemently because he was perceived to be a conservative Hispanic, and as such is thought to be a viable Supreme Court nominee. As much as they may say that they just love Hispanics (some of their very best friends are Hispanic!), they can't avoid the fact that it is because he is conservative and Hispanic that they oppose him — even if they are using Hispanic heritage as a proxy for upward mobility.
I've argued that judiciary committee oppose the nomination of Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor not because he's Catholic, but because he's one of those Catholics, i.e. one who believes the tenets of the Catholic faith. Likewise, Alt argues that Estrada was opposed because he's one of those Hispanics -- a conservative one.
Alt says that this makes the "Kennedy 45" racists -- and I think an excellent case can be made that he's right. After all, they're treating him differently based solely on the color of his skin.
The second article appears on OpinionJournal.com and is written by Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Mrs. Thomas makes a powerful argument that the public, and Republicans for not going to the mat for Estrada, have failed not only Estrada, but also good governance.
Miguel Estrada is not alone and he didn't get to this point in his career because you and I were exercising our political rights. He is at this point because we were too silent. We let others dominate Washington while we were taking our kids to school, going on summer vacations, playing sports or working out. A new barrier has been erected by the Senate Democrats and we let it happen.
Both articles are worth a read.