Brief of the Week June 8, 2009

DIFFERENT STANDARDS FOR DIFFERENT HISPANIC NOMINEES: Numerous commentators were remarking on this last week, contrasting the Democratic Party’s love fest over Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor with its eventually successful thwarting of another Hispanic judicial nomineeMiguel Estrada. Estrada was named by President Bush to the D.C. Court of Appeals in 2001, but felt forced to withdraw his own nomination two years later after an unprecedented string of Democratic-led filibusters in the Senate blocked the confirmation of several Bush judicial appointees. Like Sotomayor, the Honduras-born Estrada had a moving life story. He arrived in the U.S. at 17 without knowing English but mastered the language and graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He served as a prosecutor and law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and then worked at the Justice Department under Presidents Clinton and Bush. For all the talk now from the liberal media that Republicans will alienate Hispanic voters by opposing Sotomayor, Mercedes Schlap, a former Bush White House staffer who worked on Estrada’s nomination, recalled to HUMAN EVENTS Political Editor John Gizzi that “opposing Mr. Estrada did not seem to worry Democrats. He had the support of the Hispanic Business Roundtable, Latino Coalition, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” Schlep added that even the far-left La Raza “remained neutral on the Estrada nomination.” Gizzi called Estrada (who is now in private law practice in Washington) at his office for a comment on his nomination and that of Sotomayor, but was told that “Mr. Estrada does not choose to respond to your question.”