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Bench Memos

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Leahy’s Racial Politics



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According to this article from The Hill, on CNN yesterday Judiciary Committee chairman Pat Leahy yesterday accused Republicans of playing “racial politics” in raising concerns about Judge Sotomayor’s nomination. 

In Leahy’s crazed world—the same world in which he accuses a defender of the Catholic church of being “anti-Catholic”—somehow it’s racial politics for Republicans to explore the legal positions that Sotomayor adopted during her 12-year tenure with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund.  But it wasn’t racial politics in Leahy’s view, I gather, for the Left to insinuate wildly that Supreme Court nominees John Roberts and Samuel Alito were racists.  (See, for a couple of many possible examples, this essay of mine on charges against Roberts and this on Alito.)

The real racial politics going on now is Leahy’s effort to paint concerns about, and opposition to, Sotomayor as reflecting hostility to Hispanics.  Leahy must have quite a demeaning view of Hispanics to expect them to fall for his racial demagoguery.  Or maybe he’s expecting to be joined by some other vocal demagogues.


Tags: Whelan


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