Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thank you, Mr. President, for looking at the real qualifications of a nominee

Congratulations to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Sotomayor on her Supreme Court nomination.

I've been watching the online discussion about Sotomayor's diabetes with some interest.I care whether she knows constitutional law (and, yes, that's been established). She has a long record as an attorney and a judge and brings a great deal of experience, intelligence and insight with her.

Newsweek just published an article entitled Stop Worrying About Sonia Sotomayor's Diabetes It quotes the Huffington Post, which wrote about the ongoing debate and queried "Just how relevant are medical issues to Sotomayor's or any other potential Supreme Court nomination?"

The Newsweek post goes on to say that:

While Sotomayor's condition may lead to complications that force her to retire after twenty years of hard work on the court, there's also the chance that if appointed, she could be hit by a bus on her second day and be forced to retire then. Or ten years from now, discoveries in stem-cell research could eliminate the more damaging health effects of diabetes...

and gave President Obama credit for looking at Judge Sotomayor's real qualifications.

I do, too.

Here's what matters to me, words that reflect a dedication to her calling:

I chose to be a lawyer, and ultimately a judge, because I find endless challenge in the complexities of the law.

16 years of court experience (she brings more court experience to the job than any other justice confirmed in the past 70 years)

balanced experience and a commitment to service: serving 5 years as a prosecutor and also on the board of "the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the New York City Campaign Finance Board, and State of New York Mortgage Agency, where she helped provide mortgage insurance coverage to low-income housing and AIDS hospices"

She has upheld the ADA in disability work discrimination cases.

Judge Sotomayor has been a potential Supreme Court nominee for both Republican and Democratic presidents before.

You can see a biographical video here.


FridaWrites said...

She sounds good to me. I always find it maddening that the public thinks they have a right to people's personal medical information. If a nominee used a wheelchair, everyone would want to know "what happened" or why too. If the information is out there, it's already out there, but I, well, resent the way in which opponents use it against others when it can actually be a plus.

For any nonpublic job, it's illegal to ask about or consider disability for qualified candidates; the same should apply here.

Wheelie Catholic said...

Frida- I agree. The reaction here shows the level of discrimination that still exists in employment, even though I'm sure people will argue that the "vetting" process always includes lots of information - the reality is that the comments and discussion reflect the issues many face when trying to get a job. The negatives are seen, not the positives.