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The “Other” Affirmative Action

May 4, 2009

Just around the 100-day-mark of Barack Obama’s Presidency, he is faced with a great challenge and opportunity: naming a new justice for the Supreme Court. Of course, everyone wants to have a say in that.

Justice David H. Souter has announced his retirement from the court. Rumor has it Souter wanted to retire after the Supreme Court had to decide Bush v. Gore in 2000, but waited until a Democratic President would be available to name his successor. All this after Souter had initially been named to the court in 1990 by George H.W. Bush, but, as the New York Times writes, “became one of the most reliable members of the court’s liberal wing”.

Now this opens up a great challenge for President Obama, and expectations are high: Will he add diversity to a mostly male, Harvard / Yale educated bench with little private practice experience and a geographic tilt to the Northeast? Will he choose a pragmatist over an ideological nominee? A woman, someone who is part of a minority?

With all the speculation and shortlists, thank God Fox News’ Foxnation.com is there to ask the really important question:

Why aren’t any white males considered for the Supreme Court?

Of course, Foxnation’s commentators can be relied on to tell us why this screaming injustice is allowed. Essentially, Barack Obama is a racist. (This is voiced by some posters, with a few lamenting the fact that Whites are called racist when they hate African-Americans, but not the other way around.)

Another poster argues that “Republicans and Conservatives are a minority”, too, and should therefore “sue the Administration for their place on the Surpreme Court”. While I admire this logic, I will also make sure to bookmark the post for the next time some pundit seeks to define the USA as “a center-right nation”. Others say white males always have to pay for the “lazy” parts of the population (women? Hispanics? African-Americans? all lazy?).

Some sane voices point to the fact that this is fabricated hysteria by Foxnation, or that  other posters “confuse minority with liberal.” But somehow, they’re still drowned in the senseless chatter around them.

I need to ponder all this input now, but will try to come up with a somewhat coherent answer to Foxnation’s question. Though I’m not sure that’s possible. Anyways, enjoy reading.

Double posting over at tapmag.net, check out our transatlantic blog also.

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