Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Supreme Court Nominee

The Obama Administration issued talking points about the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to become the new Supreme Court Justice are quite good.  Presumably, Obama and his staff have been working on them for quite awhile.

I like the way they have not just fought off the whisper campaign.  Sotomayor's got a hell of a story, and would seem to fit quite nicely with the President's own aspirational, meritocracy-based rhetoric, personal story, and beliefs:

"Born to a Puerto Rican family, Judge Sotomayor grew up in a public housing project in the South Bronx. Driven by her mother's belief in the power of education and her own indefatigable work ethic, Sotomayor excelled in school, graduating as valedictorian of her high school class and winning a scholarship to Princeton University. After graduating summa cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa, she entered Yale Law School, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal."

But there is something in Sotomayor's resume that the Obama people dropped the ball on--She Saved Baseball!  

Kids, the summer of 1994 right through to the spring of 1995 was a troubling time.  America was invaded by foreign hordes, conducting some nationalist based pseudo-religious event that they believed occurred on a quadrennial basis--"Cup of the World", or something.

Shortly thereafter (and thus, possibly connected), Major League Baseball players went on strike.  They did so in the middle of  momentous season, with many wonders and portents nearing completion.    Bud Selig, who even back then looked (and behaved) like a used coffin salesman, canceled the rest of the 1994 season.

The offseason months were full of government officials attempting to help end the impasse and failing.  Congress had bills; President Clinton demanded more talks between the sides.  On March 27, the players filed an unfair labor practices report with the National Labor Relations Board.  The District Court judge assigned to look it over?  Sonia Sotomayor!  Her issued injunction against the ownership paved the way for the 1995 season that was shortened, but played with actual major league talent (and not the replacement players the owners had planned to attempt to use).

Writes Neil A. Lewis in the New York Times: 

"She [Sotomayor] ended a long baseball strike that year, briskly ruling against the owners in favor of the players. The owners were trying to subvert the labor system, she said, and the strike had “placed the entire concept of collective bargaining on trial.”

After play resumed, The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that by saving the season, Judge Sotomayor joined forever the ranks of Joe DiMaggioWillie MaysJackie Robinson and Ted Williams. The Chicago Sun-Times said she “delivered a wicked fastball” to baseball owners and emerged as one of the most inspiring figures in the history of the sport.

So, President Obama and team--you've basically nominated Willie Mays.  How about reaching out to the Dumb Americans Who Don't Read News a Whole Lot, and get them to get behind Sonia Sotomayor as The Woman Who Saved Baseball?  

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