There are consequences to every single election
During this last election cycle, many individuals felt there was little to distinguish John McCain from Barack Obama. McCain was a moderate Republican who sought to position himself more toward a perceived center. He had at times shown a gleeful countenance while tweaking members of his own party with matters such as campaign finance reform, which in a fit of cosmic justice, proved to be a major factor in the ultimate undoing of his candidacy.
Mr. Obama, on the other hand, chose to develop the appearance of a moderate Democrat; one who saw the needs of the great majority of the country. He spoke to the middle class with assurances that he was of them; one of us.
In November, the electorate chose the younger, perceived moderate; the more pure version of the president they desired. It was not going to be Republican light.
However, there are consequences to elections, a primary one of which is the nomination of justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. When your party controls the Senate and its Judiciary Committee, your selections tend to skate in on greased wheels. Controlling the committee 12 to 7, and the Senate 58 to 40 with 2 additional "Independents" who caucus with the Democrats, can give one a belief that the power is absolute. And that would be correct.
The Judiciary Committee is chaired by Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and includes seats for Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Russ Feingold (D-WI) of the First Amendment offending McCain-Feingold bill, and your Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). The fifty-eighth democrat senator is our own home grown skit artist Al Franken (D-MN), only now they're all dealing with the stuff of real life; the stuff of your life.
So what do we benefit from this new majority of moderates, those who will not follow the same old tormented philosophies of liberal dogma? When there is neither check nor balance, there is Sonia Sotomayor.
In fairness, she comes to the nomination with experience on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. Further, the American Bar Association rated her "well-qualified." However, in the legal community as in the political world, there are both left and right extremes. For example, Sotomayor has been described as "dismissive" of the Second Amendment and your right to own firearms. This wasn't based on empty cocktail talk but rather an appeals court ruling that the same Second Amendment only limits the federal government -- not states. In many quarters that legal logic might seem narrowly tortured; in others it might seem like constitutional treachery.
She also places great emphasis on ethnicity as a qualifier for the bench, having stated "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." Therefore, for those of you with sons or non-Latina daughters and who may have dreams of their ascendency to the judiciary, or any position requiring the use of judgment; your next justice views them as beginning from a position of inadequacy as a matter of birth. One might attempt explanation or try to simply spin it, but there it is.
This attitude recently arose in the opinion of Ricci et al. v. DeStefano et al. On June 29, the present Court overturned the opinion of Sotomayor's 2nd Circuit concerning the actions of New Haven, Connecticut city officials, finding they violated the rights of certain firemen when the appellate court threw out the results of a promotions test in which few minorities scored well. New Haven's resolution amounted to a denial of promotions based on the skin color of those who passed. The Supreme Court concluded that employers must establish a "strong basis in evidence" that a promotion test is deficient before discarding the results. Finding that simple "raw racial statistics" are not a sufficient indicator of discrimination, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority stating, "No individual should face workplace discrimination based on race."
In the end, the Court offered its protection to you against discrimination and against the theoretical manipulations of our President's nominee. However, will your senators protect you against those same discriminatory tendencies as this nomination moves inexorably toward confirmation? Probably not -- and these are the consequences.