Supreme Court Thoughts

I believe that the current discussion regarding the Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is fascinating to watch and that the process itself has huge implication on how America see's itself and our openness to discuss race and race relations with a clear head.

One of the statements made from Republican Senator O. Hatch, was that he was looking for Justices that are committed to enforce the law/constitution, not legislate it. He was reacting to her very public statements that most interpretations of constitutional law are in fact ways of legislating without the process. When we think about supreme court rulings (whether they be conservative or liberal leading), we must all understand that she speaks truth. Rowe vs Wade was not a "law" but an interpretation of the constitution that made abortion permissible. Placing the separation of all religious activity from public supported venues is also an interpretation of a constitution that originally was designed to deny a state supported religion, but in now way eliminated religious acvitity in school. These rulings have become law by precedent. Precedent is that once an interpretation becomes a ruling, that subsequent rulings simply enforce or magnify that previous ruling. It is this approach that gives individual rulings incredible power. I am impressed by Candidate Sotomayor that she does not feel bound by precedent and is willing to look at the merits of each case in real time.

I am most fascinated by her discussion of her experiences as a Latin-American. Although many will undoubtedly feel that this is racist, I truly believe that being a minority in America gives you a unique perspective (I did not say a superior perspective) that often allows you to question many of the assumptions of the political processes. Richard Hughes, in "Myths America Lives By" does a great job of pointing out the "prophetic" process of outsiders in America. Myths such as the "Chosen Nation" and Manifest destiny are seen as shallow, destructive, and narcassistic through the lense of those on the margins. This experience often allows vision and clarity that is outside the realm of those who seek to support and be supported by the myths of our day.

I am curious to know if others think that the current discussions around Candidate Sotomayor have deeper implications. If so, please leave a comment.

May God bless you all,

Pastor M Traylor
Dr. M TraylorComment