Remember Miguel Estrada!
Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice, one of the leaders of the conservative pushback against Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, publishes a FAQ on the top questions about the judge’s credentials. One key argument is why conservatives shouldn’t back off from attacking the potential first Hispanic justice.
Should Democratic senators or their allies on the Left accuse Sotomayor’s critics of being anti-Hispanic, the accusers can be made to look foolish simply by reminding them that they vigorously opposed and successfully filibustered George W. Bush’s nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Democratic Judiciary Committee memos revealed that opposition to Estrada was based on concern that he would eventually become the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.
It’s hard to overstate how bitter conservatives are about the 2001-2003 filibuster of Estrada, who if elevated to the Supreme Court in 2005 would have been only 44 years old. How much do voters remember this? It’s an open question, but it’s doubtful they remember the situation enough to give, say, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) a pass on blocking the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. The lesson of Estrada was how difficult it would be to oppose the first Hispanic nominee, and Republicans know it.