Friday, July 08, 2005

Gonzales First Hispanic Supreme Court Justice? Not!

It is being widely reported -- including the current issue of Newsweek -- that Alberto Gonzales, should he be nominated to and approved for a Supreme Court seat, would be the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.
This is a story being spread by the right-wing noise machine, presumably to show how inclusive the Repugs are, welcoming all and sundry into the party of the Big Tent.
Too bad for them that it's not true.
The first Hispanic Supreme Court justice was actually Benjamin Cardozo, who served on the court from 1932, when he replaced the retiring Oliver Wendell Holmes, until 1938 when he died after suffering a stroke that followed a late 1937 heart attack.
Cardozo descended from Sephardic Jews who left Spain (probably driven out in the great Expulsion of 1492) and came to the New World circa 1750 through Holland and England.
Cardozo, although appointed by Republican Herbert Hoover, was a member of the court's progressive wing. Unlike where Torquemada will likely be found.
Significantly, Cardozo wrote the majority opinion in the 1937 cases upholding the constitutionality of the Social Security Act.
This consequently makes him an enemy -- a traitor -- in the eyes of the so-called Constitution in Exile movement and their fellow-travelers at the lunatic fringe.
Including Janice Rogers Brown.