Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Senator Jeff Sessions and a Sad Day for the Republican Party

Senator Jeff Sessions has repeatedly said that the recent Ricci decision, finding white firemen were discriminated against in New Haven, CT, was the most important civil rights case in a very long time. So, Senator Sessions finally discovered civil rights now that white people might need the laws. Jeff Sessions kept pressing about it, playing to his racist supporters back in Alabama.

Let's get the facts straight about Senator Sessions. He used to be a federal judge, and Reagan tried to elevate him to the appellate court. He was rejected by the Senate, including the negative vote of Alabama Senator Heffrin. Why? Sessions had let his racist stripes be known. He "jokingly" said that Ku Klux Klan was not so bad until he found out that some of them smoked marijuana. Sessions also referred to the NAACP as "un-American" and "Communist-inspired" because it"forced civil rights down the throats of people."

So now he has discovered civil rights? No intelligent person can believe he cares about civil rights. Sotomayor knows who Sessions really is. She must be on some serious meds right now not to lash back. Smart, very smart, to keep it cool.

More amazingly, Sessions is complaining that Sotomayor did not act to overturn precedent when she had a chance. In the next breath, he complains that she is a judicial activist? Ha!

Then he complains that she didn't apply the Adarand case and strict scrutiny in the Ricci case (claiming she "broke a promise" to him). Of course, those cases are not on point. Adarand required a high standard before federal agencies adopt what used to be called minority set-asides, programs to favor minority contracting. Adarand does not concern the Ricci case at all. New Haven was not adopting a policy favoring minorities; it was responding to a case of disparate impact. Simply put, New Haven saw that no African-Americans and only one hispanic passed its test and realized that a case could be made that there was some problem with the test.
For Sessions, if a city adopts an exam that "coincidentally" only white men pass, this strikes him as natural and right. The old racist assumes whites are smarter. Or he wants to find legal ways to discriminate agaisnt negroes. If the city in question had been Birmingham rather than New Haven, maybe the Ricci case would be easier for the media to see properly.

1 comment:

Dr. Strangelove said...

If I were Sotomayor, I would answer him as LTG suggests.

First, her decision to let the lower court stand was modest and restrained, as was appropriate. As an appellate judge, it was Sotomayor's job to apply law and apply precedent, not to make law or make precedent. Second, the case is much more complex than the media soundbites suggest, the devil always being in the details, and her decision remains very much in the mainstream. The three-judge panel of which she was a part ruled unanimously in Ricci, and four of the current Supreme Court justices ultimately voted to uphold that ruling--including Justice David Souter, whom she has been nominated to replace.