I'm not too old, however, to remember a lot of the influences from my youthful days...way back in the mid-single digit birthdays. I grew up watching Sesame Street. No, not the politically-correct, sanitized version my near 2 year old watches today, I watched Sesame Street before the innuendos that Bert and Ernie were live-in 'life partners'. Before the National Mental Heath Association demanded someone else see Snuffleupagus besides Big Bird because it cast people with delusions as...well...bird brains. Before Elmo stormed the toy world creating shopping riots just to be tickled and was only known as Baby Monster. I watched Sesame Street the way it was envision, developed and produced before the special interest groups and ACLU lawyers reshaped it into something akin to watching Michael Moore Street.
I say this to frame my actual subject matter today. You see, I don't really personally know any middle-aged Hispanic women...which makes it hard for me to understand the buzz around Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Yes, I understand the historical significances of the Supreme Court's first Latina justice...but isn't justice suppose to be blind? Why else would Lady Justice be holding that food scale up with a blindfold over her eyes.
To me, Supreme Court seats should be filled by the absolute most qualified person available and willing to serve. That's an oversimplification of a process that has become heavily burdened in political positioning...the same politics which has left our legislative branch practically inept and incapable of its most basic function...legislating.
I really don't think most Americans understand the importance of our Supreme Court. Their knowledge is limited to which side of Roe v Wade they stand or the phrase 'I'll take this all the way to the Supreme Court!' without understanding how the process actually works. That's sad. Our Founding Fathers in their brilliance knew the importance of protecting the sanctity of the US Constitution, our ultimate civil law. They hoped that properly seated justices would understand the oath they would swear to when taking the bench and honor the duty to uphold our ultimate civil law above all else...including personal convictions...in theory.
In my opinion, being a Supreme Court Justice is the most important civil service job in our country...even above the Office of President. But politics is ever present and the jocking for a more conservative or a more liberal justice is under way. As a conservative, I know it's expecting way too much to look for a conservative-leaning nominee to be submitted by a liberal president and confirmed by a Democrat-controlled Congress. But I've watched the coverage of the Sotomayor hearings and must admit two things: She's very cool under tremendous pressure and her opinions are definitely more conservative than the man she replaces. I can live with that.
I look forward to following soon-to-be Justice Sotomayor's career on the bench...and my own personal growth in understanding why her being a Latina has become so important to everyone else. If she's anything like Ms. Marie from my Sesame Street days, my only other point of reference on the matter...I can live with that too...she taught me a lot of the Spanish words I still know today.