Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I thought affimative action and quotas were behind us? #SupremeCourt

Judge Wood in a robe owned by the late Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. Wood clerked for him in 1976 and 1977.
Seriously, I thought with the election of Barack Obama, America had entered a "post racial" era, and the country had "moved past race" (what ever the heck that means)?  Evidently it's not about being the most qualified, or the "content of ones character" when it comes to United States Supreme Court nominees. Evidently it's about being white, attending Yale or Harvard, and being Catholic and/or Jewish. Qualified, competent, protestant/atheist, African Americans, male or female need not apply. Especially if you didn't matriculate at Yale or Harvard.
During the selection process, Obama reviewed the writings of two dozen potential Justices. That list was narrowed to 10 for more research. Obama and Biden spoke with four candidates privately, including both Kagan and Seventh Circuit Judge Diane Wood, who were both finalists last year for the open seat that went to Sonia Sotomayor. Klain said Obama heard from several Senators about a desire to find someone, like Kagan, who had not already served as a judge.
Oh really now? Obama heard from several Senators about a desire to find someone, like Kagan, who had not already served as a judge you say? Now why in the world would several Senators desire someone, like Kagen, who had not already served as a judge? Is it because Diane Woods is a Judge and just happens to be an African American female? Since when is it not desirable for Supreme Court Justices not to be judges? I'm just asking?

Read all about Judge Pamela Diane Wood, who was born on the 4th of July BTW, and tell me she isn't qualified for a life time appointment to the Supreme Court. Here is a snippet;
Diane Pamela Wood (born July 4, 1950) is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.

Wood was born in Plainfield, New Jersey. When she was young, she moved with her family to Texas, where her mother still lives. Wood graduated with a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin's Plan II Honors program in 1971. She earned her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1975, where she was an editor of the Texas Law Review, graduated with high honors and Order of the Coif, and was among the first women at the University of Texas admitted as a member of the Friar Society. Wood then clerked for Judge Irving Goldberg of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1975 to 1976 and for Associate Justice Harry Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1976 to 1977. She was among the first women to clerk at the Supreme Court.

After working in private practice and the Executive Branch, Wood became the third woman ever hired as a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School. Wood was nominated to the Seventh Circuit by President Bill Clinton on March 31, 1995. She is considered a liberal intellectual counterweight to the Seventh Circuit's conservative heavyweights, Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook.
The United States Senators advising President Obama are members of a United States Senate that is 96% white, 1% African American, 1% Hispanic, 1% Japanese American, 1% native American. Out of 50 Senators, 17 are white females. Did they change the criteria to exclude Judge Wood in favor of Elana Kagen? Is the first African American President afraid to stand up for the rights of African American women? I HOPE not, but it sure looks that way to Moi.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with Elana Kagen, but I wanted a liberal/progressive African American female to be nominated this time. Heck, I want a liberal/progressive African American period to sit on the Supreme Court. Our Hispanic brothers and sisters have Justice Sotomayer and African Americans get Clarence Thomas? That's messed up.

This is the kind of discussion/debate concerning the Kagen nomination I wish we had instead of the discussion/debate we are having. Strike that. This is the kind of discussion/debate we need to have concerning the Kagen nomination instead of the non discussion/non debate we are having.

What Shanti said;
Apparently this administration isn't change you can believe in.
And what dthomas_85 replied;
If that change includes the muzzling of black progressives, coupled with the erosion of political lobbying done on African Americans behalf (something that is done on the behalf of every other interest group, whether it's Gays and Lesbians, the religious right or AIPAC), then no, I don't believe in that type of change. I refuse to contribute to the political irrelevance of black people all for the sake of protecting the political viability of one elected black man. That's insanity.
What the rude pundit said too!(warning rude language)
What actually pisses the Rude Pundit off in not nominating Diane Wood is the Ivy League hegemony that owns the court. Really? An Upper West Side New Yorker who went to Princeton and Harvard? How about the woman who went to school at the University of Texas? How about a little diversity in how the justices learned the law?
Peace be with you.

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