NY Times columnist Charles Blow has an entertaining piece this morning about the mind-blowing hypocrisy of Republican claims of racism on the part of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.
It's got it all. Past racist remarks by critics like Newt Gingrich and Tom Tancredo. The evidence of a near civil rights crisis for Latinos, particularly in the hateful Deep South, where they've been targeted by old guard white supremacists. And, of course, there are examples of racism from some deified Republican jurists.
Such as William Rehnquist, the former chief justice who famously wrote in defense of the mean bigotory of separate-but-equal in Plessy v. Ferguson. And even more notably in the case of current Chief Justice John Roberts:
Then there’s John Roberts, who replaced Rehnquist as the chief justice in 2005. That year, Newsday reported that Roberts had made racist and sexist jokes in memos that he wrote while working in the Reagan White House. And, The New York Review of Books published a scolding article in 2005 making the case that during the same period that he was making those jokes, Roberts marshaled a crusader’s zeal in his efforts to roll back the civil rights gains of the 1960s and ’70s — everything from voting rights to women’s rights. The article began, “The most intriguing question about John Roberts is what led him as a young person whose success in life was virtually assured by family wealth and academic achievement to enlist in a political campaign designed to deny opportunities for success to those who lack his advantages.”
Justice Roberts might benefit (though he hasn't demonstrated much openness to new ideas) from a little close association with a Latina up from poverty.
A sample of Justice Roberts from Newsday:
And in a 1985 memo about a corporate scholarship program for women, Roberts said, "Some might question whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good."
Some of his sharpest criticism was aimed at a project headed by Elizabeth Dole, now a Republican senator, that compiled efforts to boost the equality of women in all the states.
In 1983 Roberts wrote that many proposals were "highly objectionable," including a Florida plan to charge lower tuition to women because they have less earning potential and "a staggeringly pernicious law codifying the anti-capitalist notion of 'comparable worth.'"