Letter to the Editor


Mayor Otis S. Johnson
Mayor Otis S. Johnson

Dear Editor:

I want to share with the public the substance of a letter I am sending to our two U.S. Senators concerning the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. I know that local elected officials have little influence in the selection of Supreme Court Justices, but I feel compelled to share my opinion on the nomination of Judge Sotomayor because of the historic nature of her nomination.

We still live in a Country that must celebrate “firsts.” The first Irish this, the first Italian that, the first Catholic this, the first Jewish that, the first woman this, and the first Black that.

Now the United States has the opportunity to have the first Latino Judge on the Supreme Court and another woman for good measure. I point this out because in each case of “the first,” there was abundant rhetoric about qualifications and the use of other code words designed to play on the prejudices of different groups that would oppose the person becoming the first of anything that was once white Anglo-Saxon male dominated.

Judge Sotomayor’s life story should be an inspiration and used as an example of the so-called “American dream.”

You cannot build the outstanding record that Judge Sotomayor has built in mainstream America being “biased,” “radical” or “activist.” Her entire record as a lawyer and a 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge documents her ability to be tough, fair-minded, and respectful of the role of the three branches of government.

We should all be thrilled at the prospect of having another highly qualified “first,” a Latino, and moving the court to be more representative with another woman.

Judge Sotomayor provides a wonderful opportunity for what we call a “twofor.” I believe she will be confirmed. But, I hope her confirmation is not strictly along party lines.

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