October 28, 2005

Commentary:

Hispanic Caucus Urges President to Embrace Latino Supreme Court Nomination

With the announcement that Harriet Miers has withdrawn from the Supreme Court judicial nomination process, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) called on President Bush to make the American people a priority above special interests and personal loyalty. The CHC once again called on him to consider a qualified Latino dedicated to equal justice and a fair judicial system. With Hispanics representing 14 percent of the total U.S. population, the CHC reiterates the importance of having the highest court in the land reflect the growing diversity of the nation.

“The President’s appointment of Harriett Miers was predicated on political expediency with a special emphasis on the personal loyalty to him by Ms. Miers,” said Congressman Charlie Gonzalez, chair of the CHC Civil Rights Task Force. “The President must exercise greater care and responsibility in naming the next nominee. Solid legal credentials, to include judicial experience, coupled with an appreciation for the judiciary as an equal and independent branch of government should be a threshold consideration. I sincerely hope that the President will now look to the truly qualified pool of Hispanic men and women who could ably serve all Americans as the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Moreover any nominee must be dedicated to the core legal principles of equal protection and due process as well as laws and precedents that have opened access for minorities.”

“It is clear that the President is intent on satisfying his far right-wing base rather than doing what is right for America,” said Congresswoman Linda T Sánchez, vice-chair of the CHC Civil Rights Task Force. “President Bush is again confronted with the historic opportunity to appoint a nominee who reflects the diversity of this nation. If he looks to the Hispanic community to fill this vacancy, I hope he will choose a nominee who is committed to defending the rights and access to the courts that the Latino community has fought so hard to achieve. The worst thing the President could do is insult the Hispanic community by snubbing them again, or worse, selecting someone who is Hispanic in name only.”

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