06/26/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Sonia Sotomayor Battle Lines: Firefighters And Baseball

Well, here's the first salvo in your Sonia Sotomayor Talking Points Battle. On the one hand: FIREFIGHTERS! Specifically the firefighters of New Haven, Connecticut, tied up in the Ricci v. DeStefano case. Here's the Wikipedia's summary of the case:

At the center of the case is New Haven's 2003 promotion exams to select firefighters for 15 open captain and lieutenant positions within the fire department. One hundred eighteen candidates took the test, 27 of them black. After the tests were scored, no blacks scored high enough to qualify for consideration for the promotions. In response, the city decided not to promote anyone, citing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Eighteen white test takers who would have qualified for consideration for the promotions, including one who is part Hispanic, sued the city, alleging reverse discrimination. The federal district court ruled for the city (DeStefano). Upon appeal, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals initially affirmed the district court's ruling, but then added a per curiam opinion which recommended review by the US Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

As Jeffrey Rosen has pointed out, "the extent of Sotomayor's involvement in the opinion itself is not publicly known." Reasonable people would probably agree that more needs to be learned about Sotomayor's role in this decision before we form judgments about her fitness to serve on the Supreme Court. But what if -- as expected -- no reasonable people materialize? Well, then: we shall be forced to consider whether or not Sotomayor is a firefighter-murdering zombie monster.

Of course, reasonable people would cite other Sotomayor decisions that clearly put her on the side of public safety officials, like United States v. Falso and United States v. Santa (which had nothing to do with Santa Claus!). But why bother when we have baseball? Baseball is a symbol of patriotism! And did you know that were it not for Sonia Sotomayor, there might not be baseball? That's what President Obama says! Just imagine what America would be like if our nation's steroid-soaked rageaholics didn't have the outlet of major league baseball? They'd probably be roaming the streets right now, raping and murdering people with wild abandon!


There you have it, America! Firefighters or baseball. YOU CAN'T HAVE BOTH!

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