Fantastic ! SUPREME COURT: A Hispanic female for our largest US minority.
- From: GLOBALIST <free.tuneup@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 07:07:08 -0700 (PDT)
By Robert Barnes and Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Justice David H. Souter's departure from the Supreme Court gives the
first African American president a historic opportunity to break
another barrier by appointing the first Hispanic to the nation's
Those involved in the process inside the White House and those
advising from outside say President Obama would relish such a choice.
He studiously and successfully courted Hispanic support during the
campaign and has maintained close ties to Latino leaders since coming
But the White House is constructing its appointment strategy on the
belief that this will not be his only appointment to the court and
that he need not reach his goal of changing the racial, ethnic and
gender balance on the court with just one pick.
Whatever selection Obama makes will emerge from a complicated
political and legal calculation that pulls at competing elements of
his presidency. The political landscape may never be more favorable
for Obama to appoint whomever he most wants. His popularity is high
and Democrats have firm control of the Senate, which considers the
But such conditions can be fleeting, and there is never a guarantee
that more openings will materialize.
White House officials believe that Obama may get at least two more
appointments. Justices John Paul Stevens, 89, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
76, are most often mentioned as possibilities to leave, though neither
has given such an indication.
That would give Obama more freedom if he decided Judge Sonia Sotomayor
or another Hispanic is not the right choice in the short term. He
could appoint a woman this time, the thinking goes, and appoint a
Latino or Latina later.
The pressure to name a Hispanic justice is building, with Hispanic
legal groups calling -- ever so gently -- for the court's first Latino
member. That call was backed up by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus,
which told Obama that "appointing our nation's first Hispanic justice
would undoubtedly be welcomed by our community and bring greater
diversity of thought, perspective and experience to the nation's legal
Congressional aides said Obama's administration has been reaching out
to Hispanic members in recent days to get their input on the
president's choice. Obama aides have talked with the leaders of the
Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez and Vice
Chair Charles A. Gonzalez.
But both the White House and the groups are taking pains to avoid the
perception that putting a Hispanic on the bench would be either a
demand or a reward, and Obama advisers warned that pressure campaigns
can caricature potential jurists as purely ethnic choices.
"Public lobbying campaigns might be more unhelpful than helpful," said
one White House official who asked for anonymity to talk about the
selection process. "At the end of the day, the president will decide
based on the qualities that he outlined the day that Justice Souter
announced his retirement."
The most prominent Hispanic candidate is Sotomayor of the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York. She is under serious
consideration by the White House and would not only become the court's
first Hispanic member, she would also meet Obama's goal of naming a
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