John McCain to vote his conscience

Before we jump on Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) bones for supposedly disrespecting the

Miguel_Estrada.JPG

Miguel Estrada

Hispanic community by announcing today that he is opposing the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, perhaps we should review the record.

The same folks who today can conceive of no other reason why conservatives oppose Sotomayor than their supposed loathing of Latinos should read his complete statement. In it, McCain reminds us of the nasty campaign waged by the left wing against Miguel Estrade, a Latino who was nominated by President George W. Bush to the D.C. appeals court:

However,
an excellent resume and an inspiring life story are not enough to
qualify one for a lifetime of service on the Supreme Court. 

Those who suggest otherwise need to be reminded of Miguel Estrada.  Mr. Estrada also was a supremely qualified candidate.  And he too has an incredible life story.  Miguel Estrada actually immigrated to the United States from Honduras as a teenager, understanding very little English.  Yet,
he managed to graduate from Columbia University and Harvard Law School
magna cum laude before serving his country as a prosecutor and a lawyer
at the Department of Justice.  Later, he found success as a lawyer in private practice.  However,
Miguel Estrada, in spite of his qualifications and remarkable
background - in spite of the fact that millions of Latinos would have
taken great pride in his confirmation - was filibustered by the
Democrats seven times, most recently in 2003 because many Democrats
disagreed with Mr. Estrada's judicial philosophy.  This was the first filibuster ever to be successfully used against a court of appeals nominee.

I
supported Mr. Estrada's nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of
Appeals, not because of his inspiring life story or impeccable
qualifications, but because his judicial philosophy was one of
restraint.  He was explicit in his writings and
responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would not seek to
legislate from the bench.

McCain has done the right thing, which is to vote his conscience on what matters to him: a judicial philosophy of restraint. Whether or not he offends the large bloc of Latinos in his state is not a part of the calculus. And it should not be. Just as it should not be a reason for voting for Sotomayor.

If McCain loses his next election because of his vote, so be it. It will have been an act that would qualify for inclusion in John F. Kennedy's book, Profiles in Courage. Perhaps he should be respected for that, not ridiculed for kowtowing to his "right wing base."

Comments

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  • And it was his conscience that told McCain to select Sarah Palin as his running mate. He's not above kowtowing, please. Any woman knows that. I respectfully disagree with your react to my post today. http://tinyurl.com/npyu9l

  • Ms.Puente, two thoughts.

    First, of the four principal candidates for executive office (Obama, Biden, McCain, Palin) the only person with administrative and excutive experience was Ms. Palin. I voted for McCain, not for him, but for her.

    And, as you can see now, a leader with actual executive experience would have been very helpful in our country's current state. The administration with training wheels act is getting a little tired.

    Second, I would like to think that our country has come far enough to be beyond the divisiveness of identity politics. Voting for or against Sotomayer just because she is Hispanic, is just as repugnant as voting for or against a white male, just because he is a white man.

    This country has thrived when it has embraced meritocracy, and has faltered when it looks to skin color as the measure of a person.

    I would like to think, a principled man like Sen. McCain will vote his conscience.

  • Dear Parking Ticket Geek,

    Regarding your second point: "I would like to think that our country has come far enough to be beyond the divisiveness of identity politics. Voting for or against Sotomayer just because she is Hispanic, is just as repugnant as voting for or against a white male, just because he is a white man."

    This "wise"-ass Latina agrees with you, wholeheartedly :) I wrote about the dumb-ass backlash against McCain on my own website in the column "Two wrongs don't make a right: Sotomayor fans shouldn't be hatin' on Republicans" http://www.600words.com/2009/08/two-wrongs-dont-make-a-right-sotomayor-fans-shouldnt-be-hatin-on-republicans.html

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