Bench Memos

Re: Leahy’s Racial Politics

Ed, you’re right that Sen. Leahy is playing a shameful race card.  He has company, unfortunately.  Exhibits A and B are the silly, uninformed, and malevolent columns by Cynthia Tucker in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post (and how very far Parker has fallen to become as boring and conventional as Tucker).  Both of them think Judge Sotomayor was horribly assaulted last week by a bunch of racist, sexist white GOP senators.  Neither pauses to consider whether there are serious questions about the judge’s identity politics; both can only see what they believe to be white-guy identity politics.  But it wasn’t Lindsay Graham or Jeff Sessions or Jon Kyl who said that “our experiences as women and people of color affect our decisions,” or that “impartiality” is only an “aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others.”  And neither of them remembers Bork, Thomas, Roberts, or Alito–or the kid-glove treatment given to Justices O’Connor and Ginsburg.  But we must not let facts get in the way of a good column idea.