When Sonia Sotomayor de Noonan was confirmed as a member of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009, it was hailed as a progressive moment for Latinos, minorities and women.
Sonia was ready for her close-up. She was quite adept during her confirmation hearings, and showed no media reticence. Sonia was not shy.
Sonia during her confirmation hearings
Upon her confirmation Sonia was embraced by the media, and she embraced them.
There was a Time Magazine cover:
A New Republic cover:
A Latina cover:
A Commonwealth cover:
A Diabetes Forecast cover:
A National Geographic Kids cover:
A Sonia Sotomayor children’s book:
A Daily News cover:
She danced with Esai Morales:
Hung out with the first family:
She received $1.175 million for her memoir My Beloved World, ghost-written by Zara Houshmand and published by Alfred A. Knopf.
And now she appears regularly on national television:
None of this is a criticism of Sonia Sotomayor.
As a Supreme Court Justice she is a public figure, and obligated to behave like one. In addition, we should never begrudge another Latino their success. We should embrace, support and celebrate it.
But today, Sonia’s historical moment has arrived.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing Puerto Rico v. Sánchez Valle. Although it is a “double jeopardy” case regarding some criminal gun charges, the case will turn on whether or not Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, or a sovereign nation.
Whether the Court rules “sovereign” or “territory,” it must rule one way or the other. It can not – must not – be allowed to evade this question. It was because of this question, that the case rose all the way to the SCOTUS in the first place.
In her historical moment, during her discussion in chambers, Sonia Sotomayor must not allow the SCOTUS to weasel out of an answer.
We cannot blame Sonia Sotomayor for Citizens United v. FEC. That was one of the most disastrous Supreme Court decisions in US history…but Sonia had just arrived on the SCOTUS bench.
Now six years later, on this issue, Sonia Sotomayor must stand front and center.
If her presence on the Court means anything, she must convince her colleagues to provide a clear and unambiguous answer…with no “weasel language” attached…
Is Puerto Rico a U.S. territory?
YES or NO?
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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