Sunday, May 31, 2009

just a little bit of spanish castle magic

Byron York, right-wing hairstyle that walks like a man, attempts to rain on the Sotomayor parade and invokes the sainted name of Miguel Estrada, who, like Sotomayor, seems to be Latino. But there, all resemblance ends.

York in the Washington Examiner:
In 2001, President George W. Bush nominated former Justice Department lawyer Miguel Estrada to a seat on the federal courts of appeals. In that instance, as today, the nominee was was a Hispanic with a compelling story and impressive qualifications. And some of the very people who are today praising Sotomayor spent their time devising extraordinary measures to kill Estrada's chances.

His "dark-and-stormy-night" goes on to describe furtive meetings with shadowy liberal groups like the NAACP and People For The American Way, who issues marching orders to Dick Durbin and other senators:
"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."

Yeah. About that. Dahlia Lithwick unpacks the story further:
But the most vocal objections come from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, a group of 20 House Democrats who, unable to evaluate Estrada based on his judicial experience (he has none) or legal writings (which are not being produced) met with him for an hour last June, in the basement of the Capitol. Their conclusion? According to Rep. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Estrada "shares a surname" with Latinos but has done little to help them. Menendez complains that Estrada had not set up internships or mentorship programs specifically aimed at helping young Latino lawyers, and he told Democrats that his ethnicity would be irrelevant to his day-to-day work as a judge.

Armando at Talk Left adds more criticism of York:
What Byron York will not acknowledge is that unlike Democratic opposition to Estrada, which was based on his ideology, not once did a Democrat or progressive say that Estrada lived a "privileged" life filled with "preferential treatment." Yet that is precisely what York's conservative cohorts have done to Sotomayor. When York confronts Michael Goldfarb, Fred Barnes, Bill Bennett, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Tom Tancredo and the rest of the despicable racialists in his Party, then come back and talk to us.

An old Source Watch post (with broken links) describes Estrada according to the DOJ where he worked:
Miguel Estrada is a Federalist Society member and former clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy. He is also a partner in the law firm that represented President George W. Bush before the Supreme Court during his post-election legal fight with Al Gore. Estrada is a strong supporter of capital punishment whose judicial philosophy has been compared to that of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Maybe it's just me, but that's plenty of reason to filibuster Estrada. And none of it applies to Sotomayor.

Note the very cool quote from "The Breeze and I" in Jimi's solo. Nice.