This article was originally published on Humorality, on May 27, 2009.
What an experience!
President Obama, whose experience as a member of his high school’s varsity basketball team gave him a unique perspective on the difficulties that “big and tall” members of American society have, announced his replacement for outgoing Supreme Court justice David Souter, a man who, due to his lack of television ownership, can readily sympathize with those who have no interest in either American Idol or Dancing with the Stars. The president announced his selection of Court of Appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor for the job, a 54-year-old Latina, a term which official United States documents define as “a woman of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.”
“In other words, I did not select Ms. Sotomayor because of her race, but because of her life experiences,” declared the president before a crowd of reporters in the White House’s East Room, a designation which indicates its geographic placement, and not its association with Japanese or Chinese cultures. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs held a briefing later in the day to express the president’s gratitude for “cultures of East Asia and the Pacific Rim whose struggles and joys warrant recognition in the décor of the aptly named East Room.”
The president’s Supreme Court announcement focused on the potential justice’s formative experiences, which are legion. “She was raised in a housing project not far from Yankee Stadium, making her a lifelong Yankee’s fan. The daughter of a Puerto Rican factory worker, Judge Sotomayor learned at a young age how to design and build complex machinery from iron ore. And as a Catholic with diabetes, she discovered that the blood of Christ, at least in the transubstantiated presence found at her church, has remarkably high blood sugar content.” A few reporters were seen crossing themselves at this remark based on their own significant spiritual experiences, a sign that the controversy surrounding the election bid of President John Kennedy, whose many experiences included a rumored affair with tragic starlet Marilyn Monroe, will probably not be an issue during the confirmation process experience.
Republicans, whose life experiences ill-prepared them for the presence of another liberal justice on the nation’s highest court, expressed doubts over the qualifications of Judge Sotomayor. “For the life of me, I can’t see what the events of her childhood have to do with her ability to adjudicate cases properly,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose role as student body president of the University of Louisville back in the early 1960s obviously prepared him well for a life of public service, despite getting the short end of the stick in the current Senate climate.
Democrats are adamant that she is the right person to fill the upcoming open seat on the court, a seat which due to the comparative dietary experiences of Souter and Sotomayor will allow her to more than adequately fill. These Democrats point to Sotomayor’s own 2001 statement to students at the University of California, Berkeley, students whose life experiences make their parents shake their heads in disgust. At that event, and at a time when she had way, way fewer life experiences than she does now, she said, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” One assumes that by “white male,” Ms. Sotomayor includes this reporter, whose life experiences do not permit him to reject such stupid and insensitive statements out of hand as being either stupid or insensitive.
President Obama expressed his hope that the Senate would confirm the very experienced Sotomayor before they experience a political recess in August. “In my experience, a quick confirmation would resonate with the experiences of all Americans, whatever their previous experiences.”