Social Justice

By Bill Maher

The other day I drove past a huge new campus in Northeast L.A. called "Sotomayor Learning Academies." I thought to myself, "It can't be that Sotomayor, can it? She's not even 60." Sure enough, it's Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She’s already an icon in many neighborhoods across this country. Hell, in L.A., most of them.

Her autobiography just came out, and I expect it to do very well. Every time I see publicity for it, I think of how stupid Republicans were to oppose her. You know how many current Republican senators voted to confirm her? Three. Thirty one voted not to, and nine voted yes, but five of those nine were retiring and one lost his primary, which tells you how hard it is for a Republican to support a Hispanic without paying a price.

There are a lot of reasons Hispanics voted against Republicans in November, but this is a big one that people who aren't Hispanic seem to have forgotten about completely. What made voting against her so insulting wasn't that she was the first Latina nominated to the Supreme Court -- I wouldn't be complaining if Obama had nominated J-Lo and Republicans said "no" -- but Sonia Sotomayor had the most judicial experience of any Supreme Court nominee ever, and all her other credentials were impeccable. The only reasons to vote against her were empty-headed talking points farted right out of Rush Limbaugh's ass, but somehow they became the mainstream Republican position. Hispanics could only be thinking, "Wow, if they reject her, they're rejecting all of us."

What they really hate about her is that her autobiography is a great testament to affirmative action working. Sotomayor wasn't given any handouts in life. But in her book, she acknowledges getting into Princeton through a "special door." There's a huge part of the Republican Party hell-bent on keeping that door closed to anybody who didn't have an ancestor on the Mayflower, regardless of their ability to succeed once they get into the club.

Wasn't her rejection by the right a perfect example of the Republicans' "dark vein of intolerance" Colin Powell was talking about on Meet the Press?