Sonia Maria Sotomayor — She’s No Clarence Thomas, But No Thurgood Marshall Either By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

3 June, 2009 – Black Agenda Report

sotomayor.jpgLike the campaign of Barack Obama, some would turn the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court into another occasion for nonstop celebration of the American story in which humble orgins and hard work win out over racism. While it is important to refute the racist assumptions and lies of Republicans, the Sotomayor nomination should be put into context. It should be compared with the other two nominations of nonwhites to the court, and should be the beginning of a discussion of what a just and democratic society must demand from its courts — more nonwhite faces in high places? More rights for corporations? Or more justice for people?

The bubble of false reality that is corporate media’s coverage of the nomination of Sonia Maria Sotomayor begins with the racist rants of Limbaugh, O’Reilly, and a host of Republican senators and talking heads. It encompasses a torrent of righteous air and ink denouncing the racists, along with an inspiring story of humble origins, hard work and determination to succeed. It feeds the ongoing narrative of America’s ultimate triumph over old fashioned racism by allowing highly qualified and carefully vetted minorities to join its ruling elite. And it includes the view of places like Business Week, which designate the nominee “centrist” and a “moderate,” a view that corporate media revealingly agree is nonpolitical,” which means that the prerogatives of America’s business elite are not now and never will be up for discussion.

Absent from the conversation around the Sotomayor nomination are all but the most cursory review of her legal career before being appointed a federal judge by George Bush — a mere twelve years of legal experience, five as a prosecutor for the D.A.’s office in Manhattan, and another seven as partner at the international law firm of Pavia & Harcourt. The mainstream media does not publish summaries of the decisions she has made in seventeen years on the bench. Although much is made of the fact that she will be only the third judge not a white man to sit on the high court, few detailed comparisons are made between her legal career and those of Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas. Finally there are no attempts to discuss the unique, and not always positive role that the US Supreme Court plays or ought to play in the life of the country.

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Obama and Sotomayor ‘Almost a perfect mix’ By Anayat Durrani and Eric Walberg

Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court is another American dream story, as told by Anayat Durrani and Eric Walberg

Federal Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor is on the path to become the first Latina and third woman to serve on the High Court. If confirmed by the Senate, she would join Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the only other woman on the court.

The 54-year-old daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants grew up in a public housing project in the South Bronx and lost her father at the age of nine. But this and her medical condition as a Type 1 diabetic did not stop Sotomayor from graduating from both Princeton and Yale.

United States President Barack Obama said he chose Sotomayor for her inspiring life journey and because she has “a distinguished career that spans three decades”. Taunting his Republican foes, Obama noted that Sotomayor “was nominated to the US District Court by a Republican president, George H W Bush.”

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Hajo Meyer, Auschwitz survivor: “I can identify with Palestinian youth”

2 Jun 2009 – Palestine Think Tank, Interview by Adri Nieuwhof

Meyer.jpgHajo Meyer, author of the book The End of Judaism, was born in Bielefeld, in Germany, in 1924. In 1939, he fled on his own at age 14 to the Netherlands to escape the Nazi regime, and was unable to attend school. A year later, when the Germans occupied the Netherlands he lived in hiding with a poorly forged ID. Meyer was captured by the Gestapo in March 1944 and deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp a week later. He is one of the last survivors of Auschwitz.

Adri Nieuwhof:What would you like to say to introduce yourself to EI’s readers?

Hajo Meyer: I had to quit grammar school in Bielefeld after the Kristallnacht [the two-day pogrom against Jews in Nazi Germany], in November 1938. It was a terrible experience for an inquisitive boy and his parents. Therefore, I can fully identify with the Palestinian youth that are hampered in their education. And I can in no way identify with the criminals who make it impossible for Palestinian youth to be educated.

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