( – promoted by buhdydharma )
You. Yeah, you. You pontificating white males (so unrepresentative of the vast majority of your fellows in race and gender) that think that one bloody word in one speech years ago, a membership to an organization with a Spanish name and a decision upholding a city’s move to limit its liability and scrap a bad test because its results uniformly favored one racial group over another one…
You think that Judge Sotomayor is worse for the country than the Confederacy winning the Civil War? You seriously believe that Victoria Woodhull, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony would have locked arms with you in protesting her nomination to the Supreme Court?
You believe that if Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today he would be on the Sunday talk show circuit talking about how she’s a “reverse racist”?
And while we’re on the topic of history, race and gender, let’s do a quick review. This is a country whose judiciary both upheld and struck down injustice codified in the law. For every Brown vs. Board of Education there is a Plessy vs. Ferguson, and every Amistad is threatened by a Fugitive Slave Act.
Waving the magic wand of “judicial restraint” does not automatically fix these problems, as this 1869 Georgia Supreme Court case upholding anti-miscengination laws illustrates:
With the policy of this law we have nothing to do. It is our duty to declare what the law is, not make the law…It was dictated by wise statesmanship, and has a broad and solid foundation in enlightened policy, sustained by sound reason and common sense. The amalgamation of the races is not only unnatural, but is always productive of deplorable results. Our daily observation shows us, that the offspring of these unnatural connections are generally sickly and effeminate, and that they are inferior in physical development and strength, to the fullblood of either race. It is sometimes urged that such marriages be encouraged, for the purpose of elevating the inferior race. The reply is, that such connections never elevate the inferior race to the position of the superior, but they bring down the superior to that of the inferior. They are productive of evil, and evil only, without any corresponding good.
link (see page 38): http://books.google.com/books?…
Yes, I bolded parts of this decision in case you don’t get it yet: judicial restraint when upholding bad law is not a virtue, and yet all of your “federalist societies” and conservative-secret-handshake clubs have yet to address this fact (in fact, many of you just run away from it, claiming that our laws extend enough rights at this moment in time and should never change moving forward).
What can a group of justices do to try to ensure that decisions like the one cited above are not rendered? Well, it seems to me they can step outside their legal ivory towers and consider – even if only fleetingly – the effect of their decisions on real people. They can rely on their own life experiences – and discuss these issues with people who have life experiences different from their own – to try and avoid summary judgements calling an entire group of people “evil, and evil only, without any corresponding good.”
In other words, they can try and approach the law exactly as Judge Sotomayor has explained she would.
So, stop the moralizing. History is not on your side, and it never was.