. . . [S]ome of the very people who are today praising Sotomayor spent their time [in 2001-03] devising extraordinary measures to kill Estrada's chances. Read the entire article.
As anyone who lived through the Clarence Thomas hearings can tell you, to earn the support of the left, you must be a member of a victim group AND graciously accept your victim status. The converse is also true - the quickest way to earn the vitriolic condemnation of the left is to be a member of a lefty recognized victim group, yet not toe the approved victim line. Thus Judge Sotomayor is a darling of the left - a historic nomination of a Hispanic to the Supreme Court. To challenge her is to be painted as a racist or misogynist.
Yet, in 2001, it was the left who used all of the tricks at their disposal to prevent Miguel Estrada being named to the DC Court of Appeals - concerned that he was a "LATINO" being "groomed for the Supreme Court." Byron York explores the story of Mr. Estrada and his despicable treatment by the left in some detail today.
This from Byron York writing at the Washington Examiner:
Born in Honduras, Estrada came to the United States at 17, not knowing a word of English. He learned the language almost instantly, and within a few years was graduating with honors from Columbia University and heading off to Harvard Law School. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, was a prosecutor in New York, and worked at the Justice Department in Washington before entering private practice.
Estrada's nomination for a federal judgeship set off alarm bells among Democrats. There is a group of left-leaning organizations -- People for the American Way, NARAL, the Alliance for Justice, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the NAACP, and others -- that work closely with Senate Democrats to promote Democratic judicial nominations and kill Republican ones. They were particularly concerned about Estrada.
In November, 2001, representatives of those groups met with Democratic Senate staff. One of those staffers then wrote a memo to Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin, informing Durbin that the groups wanted to stall Bush nominees, particularly three they had identified as good targets. "They also identified Miguel Estrada as especially dangerous," the staffer added, "because he has a minimal paper trail, he is Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment. They want to hold Estrada off as long as possible."
It was precisely the fact that Estrada was Hispanic that made Democrats and their activist allies want to kill his nomination. They were determined to deny a Republican White House credit, political and otherwise, for putting a first-rate Hispanic nominee on the bench.
Durbin and his colleagues did as they were instructed. But they had nothing with which to kill the nomination -- no outrageous statement by Estrada, no ethical lapse, no nothing. What to do?
They brainstormed. Estrada had once worked in the Justice Department's Office of Solicitor General, right? (Appointed under the first President Bush, Estrada stayed to serve several years under Clinton.) That office decides which cases the government will pursue in the Supreme Court, right? And that process involves confidential legal memoranda, right? Well, why don't we suggest that there might be something damaging in those memos -- we have no idea whether there is or not -- and demand that they be made public?
Durbin and his colleagues knew the Bush Justice Department would insist the internal legal memos remain confidential, as they always had been. It wasn’t just the Bush Administration that thought releasing the documents was a terrible idea; all seven living former Solicitors General, Republican and Democrat, wrote a letter to Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy begging him to back off.
But the Democrats didn't back off. They had a new, very serious question to ask: What is Miguel Estrada hiding?
The answer was nothing, of course. But the strategy worked. Democrats stonewalled Estrada's nomination, and, after losing control of the Senate in 2002, they began an unprecedented round of filibusters to block an entire slate of Bush appeals-courts nominees, Estrada among them. . . .
And that was how Democrats treated the last high-level Hispanic court nominee. Think about that when you watch their lovefest with Sonia Sotomayor.
. . . [S]ome of the very people who are today praising Sotomayor spent their time [in 2001-03] devising extraordinary measures to kill Estrada's chances.
Read the entire article.