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Guest Voz: Senate Majority Leader Reid says lack of Republican support can’t take away significance of Sotomayor confirmation

By Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
In reviewing the biography of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, it quickly becomes clear that she had to overcome many challenges to arrive where she is at today. The last challenge of her professional career was trying to convince Republican senators that she was qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Sadly, with the exception of nine Republican senators, they did not believe her. Their dismissal of her qualifications and extensive experience disturbs many in the Latino community who see this as validation that no matter how educated or accomplished Latinos/as become, there will be some for whom Latinos/as will never be the right fit for a particular position.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wanted to reach out to Latina Lista readers and encourage all Latinos to look past the partisan politics and know that what was accomplished by Sonia Sotomayor can be repeated among other women and other ethnicities.

There are events throughout history that have shaped the face of America. This week, the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is one of those events that mark a turning point in our country and a new chapter in our history books.
She embodies the quintessential American success story, and will bring to the Court extensive legal and real world experience.
As someone who grew up in a house made of railroad tires and no plumbing in the desert of Nevada, I understand how our experiences and struggles help us develop strong real world knowledge.
I also understand how necessary and useful that knowledge is when you are making decisions that impact the lives of millions of Americans. And yet critics have pointed to discussions of her past, her experiences, or her heritage as detriments to her judicial ability.
They fundamentally miss the boat. It is precisely her up-bringing in a New York housing project, her trial and federal court experience, and her Puerto Rican heritage that make her a unique and necessary addition to the Supreme Court.

Judge Sotomayor’s story has opened many doors, not just for young Hispanics who dream of success, but to any young woman of any ethnicity who dreams of serving her country. 

In October, when Judge Sotomayor takes her seat on the bench she will make history as the third woman and first Hispanic on the Supreme Court. While it is unfortunate that many of my colleagues from across the aisle decided to oppose her confirmation, their lack of support should not take away from the significance of this historic decision.
Years from now, people will recall that Republicans could not put aside partisan politics to do what was right in this confirmation process.

I look forward to following Justice Sotomayor’s career on the Supreme Court as she reaches into her experiences — both personal and professional — to continue serving our country.

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  • El Guapo
    August 8, 2009 at 4:33 am

    The Repubs really did it to themselves this time.

  • Indiana Bob
    August 8, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Yo Cookie,
    Let’s try this again, one more time (click on my name for the report).
    Other than Ricci, Judge Sotomayor has decided 96 race-related cases while on the court of appeals.
    Of the 96 cases, Judge Sotomayor and the panel rejected the claim of discrimination roughly 78 times and agreed with the claim of discrimination 10 times; the remaining 8 involved other kinds of claims or dispositions. Of the 10 cases favoring claims of discrimination, 9 were unanimous. (Many, by the way, were procedural victories rather than judgments that discrimination had occurred.) Of those 9, in 7, the unanimous panel included at least one Republican-appointed judge. In the one divided panel opinion, the dissent’s point dealt only with the technical question of whether the criminal defendant in that case had forfeited his challenge to the jury selection in his case. So Judge Sotomayor rejected discrimination-related claims by a margin of roughly 8 to 1.
    So if she is a racist, she sure does not seem to let it cloud her actual decisions.
    Do you accept fact-based arguments? If you do, what exactly are you basing your claims that she is a racist on, the “wise latina” comment?

  • Indiana Bob
    August 8, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Alright, I’m a moron.
    I was trying to respond to my new rightwing pal Cookie on the previous post.
    oh well,

  • Kenny
    August 24, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I’m afraid that Harry Reid will have more on his mind than CIR from now on. Apparently he in the position to lose. If CIR isn’t done real soon, it will no doubt be dead, as its democrat supporters will conveniently forget that it’s on the agenda. Getting re-elected is more important to these characters and Hispanics aren’t in any position to make a difference.
    Poll: Harry Reid faces formidable foes in 2010
    (AP) – 1 day ago
    LAS VEGAS — A newspaper poll says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faces formidable opposition next year when he seeks a fifth term.
    A survey of 400 registered voters for the Las Vegas Review-Journal released Sunday paints the Democratic incumbent as an underdog when matched against either of two possible Republicans rivals in the election.
    The poll, taken last week by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., shows Reid lagging by as many as 11 percentage points against Danny Tarkanian. He had 49 percent to Reid’s 38 percent.
    Tarkanian is a real estate professional and former UNLV basketball player.
    A separate matchup gave Nevada Republican chairman Sue Lowden 45 percent to Reid’s 40 percent. Lowden has yet to commit herself to a race.
    The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus five percentage points.

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