Friday, July 3, 2009

Firemen-1; Sotomayor and Racism - 0

In its final decision of this session, the Supreme Court overturned Supreme Court nominee Sotomayor’s controversial ruling in the New Haven reverse racism case (See the opinion here: In a blow to racist preferential policies, the court ruled that basing employment decisions on skin color violates Title VII and is unacceptable.

While the decision did not go far enough in overturning outdated racial policies, it is a huge step in the right direction. It facilitates the creation of a truly color blind America. It also makes it more difficult for the word ‘racism’ to be misused as a proxy for preferential treatment. (See earlier discussion here:

The decision is also a blow to Sotomayor, who is looking to be confirmed in the near future. It further emphasizes how out of touch she is with the proper role of the judiciary. Her flippant approach to legislating from the bench and assertions regarding the supremacy of her female, Latina background are further highlighted by the Supreme Court’s decision. The ruling will serve as prime fodder in her confirmation hearings. She most definitely will, and should, be questioned in depth.

Hopefully this decision will lead to a general overhaul of the policies and thought-processes that outline race relations in America. As discussed earlier, (See here: ) it is high time America stops thinking in binary, divisive terms. Decisions based on the color of someone’s skin are racism, any way you cut it. With any luck, through this decision and with the upcoming grilling, Sotomayor will realize that it we are entering a post-racial time. Since she is most likely to be confirmed, one can only hope that she will step out of the 1960s and into modern America.

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