Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sotomayor on short list for the Court

Every once in a while I try to post something here, thinking I'm the only one that it's occurred to, that I'm the only one who remembered some obscure fact.

So it happened last week when I heard that US Supreme Court Justice David Souter (above right) would soon be retiring. Among the names discussed as a possible replacement was US Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor. The New York jurist would click just about every important demographic box that Barack Obama wants -- she's Latina, a woman and my attorney wife says the Second Court of Appeals, on which Sotomayor presides, is fairly liberal in reputation.

When I heard that Sotomayor's name was on Obama's short list, I remembered one more thing: she basically ended the devastating baseball strike of 1994-1995.

Sotomayor (pictured at right) issued an injunction stating that owners over-reached in unilaterally eliminating the then-current free agency and arbitration systems in 1995 -- a statement that led to the players going back to work under the previous contract until a new one could be negotiated later that year. An article in the New York Times soon after pointed out Sotomayor as a rising star in the judical world, and for some reason it stuck with me and I immediately recognized her name when i heard it over the air on NPR.

I also remembered her role in ending the baseball strike, and was surprised that none of the media outlets I'd seen had listed that among her accomplishments. In fact, I though maybe I had mis-remembered until I double-checked online. So I got the idea for this blog entry thinking I'd have a big scoop -- until I decided to check online and saw that it's been covered ad nauseam (such as here and here).

Ah well. Anyway, I know next-to-nothing about Sotomayor's views on First Amendment rights, abortion, the Equal Protection Clause, etc. But I do know she helped bring back baseball in a time when I needed it -- when I had moved to a new city and started a new life, but needed something familiar to latch onto. For that, Sotomayor will forever have my gratitude.

(Update: Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 8:53 a.m. -- AP is reporting Obama has picked Sotomayor for the Court. Did I call it, or what?)

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