Sotomayor: Do Not Give an Inch

Written by Adriel Hampton. Posted in Opinion, Politics

Tagged: ,

Published on June 08, 2009 with 6 Comments

sotomayor_obama11.jpg
Strong progressive support for Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court,
is a chance to further marginalize prejudiced and pro-corporate elements in the Republican Party.
Photo: Larry Downing

By Adriel Hampton

June 8, 2009

Much has already been written about the opinions, expertise, credentials and precedent leading up to Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. Scrutiny of the past, particularly the 1916 nomination of Louis Brandeis to the Court, should lead progressives to back down not one inch in support for this nomination. This nomination, and strong progressive support for Judge Sotomayor, is a chance to further marginalize prejudiced and pro-corporate elements in the Republican Party.

President Woodrow Wilson’s nomination of Brandeis was a major event in the wide-scale shift in the Jewish community from the Republican Party to the progressive Democrats. Sotomayor’s nomination may do the same in the Latino community, as a relatively moderate jurist is pilloried by the same anti-democratic corporate party voices that demonized the first American Jew nominated to the court.

The Republican party, with its harsh and foolhardy rhetoric, is precipitously driving away the Latino working class vote it needs to survive.

In the history of both Brandeis and Sotomayor, we see the same kind of attacks from the Wall Street Journal and the Republican Party. What is amazing to see, as well, is how much ground the left has given up over the past century. While corporate forces described Brandeis as “radical,” “unfit,” and “rabid” for his fights against corporate monopolies and crass consumerism, President Wilson characterized him as holding to the highest “American ideals of justice and equality of opportunity.”

Brandeis fought for corporate regulation, was a strong critic of the insurance industry, and a chief nemesis of JP Morgan and the trusts. His bold statements on equality and democracy make today’s debate seem like child’s play – “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

Like Brandeis, Sotomayor has been described as a political independent interested in the broader themes of law and public policy. Progressives and the Democratic Party have much to gain in this debate. Do not give an inch.

Adriel Hampton is a journalist, Gov 2.0 and new media strategist, public servant, and licensed private investigator. He is running for U.S. Congress in the 2009 special election for California’s 10th District.

Adriel Hampton

Adriel Hampton is a writer, investigator, strategic consultant and mindfulness practitioner. He runs The Adriel Hampton Group Ltd. in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and was a founding member of NationBuilder. Adriel is founder emeritus of SF Tech Dems and a board member at Legination Inc. Before joining NationBuilder, Adriel worked for SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera, and for the SF Examiner, Hayward Daily Review and Lodi News-Sentinel. He also founded SF City Camp and Gov 2.0 Radio, and, in 2009, ran for Congress in the East Bay.

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  • R.S.

    Right on target. It’s time the Democrats act like they are the majority party.

  • Adriel,

    You’re the best political mind in the Bay Area. That’s true and anyone who’s read you for the past 10 years or so (he’s 30 folks) knows it. Just seeing some copy from you after all these years is great (he was the City Editor of the Examiner and a reporter who filed 5 stories a day before then).

    I’m looking forward to staying at your headquarters starting tomorrow and for the rest of the month to work for your election to the United States Congress from California’s D-10. I haven’t been so proud to support a candidate since Gonzalez.

    Sotomayor will get 73 votes

    h.

  • Richmondman

    It would be nice if Supreme Court justices were nominated baed on their expertise in Constitutional Law. However, they are politicians, appointed solely on political grounds. At least she has some experience as a Federal Judge, even if her opinions have been criticized by the other justices upon review. By nominating Sotomayor, Obama shows great political judgement. He locks up the support of Latinos, women and the left in one pick that will leave any critics being demonized as racists, whether or not their criticisms are valid.

  • vi

    In the end I think she will disappoint the far left, be careful what you wish for.

  • Richmondman

    vi – you are corrrect. while she is a self-described liberal, who has admitted to being a judicial activist, she is considered a centrist judge by most legal analysts. For example, in 90% of cases claiming discrimination, she ruled against the plaintiffs. She also supported a ruling that allowed the Bush administration to deny funds to pro-abortion groups.

  • vi

    If Mccain had won and he had nominated Soyomayor you know the democrats would have blocked her. I think the republican are very happy it was her and not someone liberal. Politics has gotten very strange of late.