“We are firmly committed not to…let this president and this administration co-opt the judiciary and make it an extension of the administration.” “[The nominee is an] extreme ideologue.” “[The nominee doesn’t have] ideological balance.”
No, those comments were not made by Republican Senators speaking on President Obama’s choice of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. They are the words of Democrat Senators — Sen. Ted Kennedy, then-Senator John Corzine, and Sen. Charles Schumer to be exact — speaking during and after the 28-month battle over the nomination of Miguel Estrada for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Honduran-born Estrada, who immigrated to America at the age of 17 to meet his mother in the U.S., was scrutinized for his so-called “extreme far-right” political views. After being nominated by President George W. Bush, Estrada was set aside by Democrats for more than two years for the stated reason that he was too much like the President who had nominated him.
Being the first Hispanic ever nominated for the D.C. Circuit Court — a court that has often been referred to as the “second highest” Court in the land — Estrada’s confirmation would have made him a major player and leader in the Hispanic community, in American legal history, and in American law.
Also, being endorsed by both the American Bar Association and the Hispanic Bar Association gave Estrada a major backing in the legal community. Nonetheless, with all of these things going for him, Miguel Estrada was kept at bay for nearly two and a half years until he finally withdrew his nomination.
It was more than two years of Democrat opposition, name calling, and political maneuvering that destroyed the appellate court aspirations of Estrada, and it was such frustration towards an Hispanic that derailed what might have proven to be a powerfully effective judgeship.
Add to all of this the fact that the nomination, which Democrats blocked, was probably the most important Hispanic court nomination to that point. Like so many other liberal hypocrisies, their devotion to the promotion of minorities is disproven by their political action whenever a minority dares to be conservative.
The same liberal Democrats, who have recently lectured the American Conservative on how they need to wait for a fair hearing on Sonia Sotomayor, are the same leaders that jumped to political conclusions about Estrada in ’01 and sank his nomination with vicious — and unfounded — attacks and unjustified delays.
Democrat Senators such as Schumer, Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, and Corzine made angry comments about Estrada all throughout his confirmation process.
Even after the 2003 battle royale over a filibuster on Estrada’s confirmation, Sen. Thomas Daschle was recorded as saying, “Mr. Estrada holds positions that are extreme far-right…that could be interpreted as ultra-far-right.”
To say that Miguel Estrada got the same, or even similar, treatment from the Democrat Party as has already been given to Sonia Sotomayor would be laughably wrong.
Judge Sotomayor has been praised and lauded over by the Left because of her Hispanic heritage, and her “empathetic” life story.
Democrats say that we need to make history and break racial prejudices by encouraging the nomination of Jude Sotomayor. They say that she deserves a swift confirmation, in part because she will destroy the idea that “race is still a factor.”
Of course, this was not the logic Dems used during the Estrada confirmation process. Why wouldn’t his rapid confirmation have made the same history and broken the same prejudices?
Because, of course, he had the gall to be a conservative.
Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich have been called “racists” by the Left and the mainstream media (if you will pardon that redundancy), simply because they analyzed Sotomayor’s own statements. By this principle, does it mean that by calling Estrada an “extreme ideologue” Democrats are racists too? Does it mean that be saying that Estrada has an “ultra-far-right” perception on things Democrats are slandering the Hispanic race as well?
Secondly, why should Sotomayor’s Hispanic heritage qualify her to break the so-called “race barrier” better than Estrada’s? Estrada was equally (probably far more) capable, smart and qualified for a leading legal role for Hispanics as Sotomayor. The Senate of the United States had every reason to acknowledge his capabilities and to confirm him; however they turned the other way.
Third, the whole idea that a judge needs “empathy” is a farce. A judge needs commonsensical, logical, reasoning, as well as a knowledgeable understanding of the Law and strong belief that the Constitution is the foundation of our government. However, if the Democrat party is going to base its appointment to a judgeship on “empathy,” then maybe they should have picked Estrada.
Miguel Estrada knows what its like to go through hard times. He came to the U.S. alone at age 17 from Honduras to meet with his mother. He had to make his own way. Unlike Judge Sotomayor, who had the opportunity of living a great deal of her childhood here, Estrada had no such luck. He came here after living his entire childhood in Honduras, and was able to make a way for himself.
Not once did Miguel Estrada get a pass because he was a member of a minority, not once did he get a pass because he had a compelling story, not once did he get a pass because he was “empathetic,” and not once did he get a pass because he would break the so-called “race barrier,” and not-once was the Democrat Party working to lend a proverbial hand to the minorities.
Miguel Estrada never got a pass, so why should Sotomayor?
The fact is, she shouldn’t. No one should, and the Democrat party of 2001-2003 would agree.