Category Archives: SCOTUS

Bad Day for Republicans

There are a couple of items going around that really deal some bad news for the Republicans.

First, the DC Federal Court panel has ruled against the Texas’ discriminatory redistricting maps. The GOPers are sure to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, and it seems the elections will continue since the lawsuit is about the maps as drawn by the Texas Legislature and not the maps we are using now, as drawn by the San Antonio federal court. In a second post, Li says the boundaries for some could be changed for the election–or at least be possible.

On the other hand, it is certainly possible to see a move to adjust those interim maps in the San Antonio court.  For example, CD-23 arguably could be restored to its benchmark configuration fairly easily.  Similar arguments might also be made with respect to HD 117 and 149, which are wholly contained in their respective counties.  But that’s a call that redistricting plaintiffs in San Antonio will have to make.

The opinion regarding CD-23 is particularly telling. The panel felt that Republicans did everything possible to dilute Hispanic voting strength by switching out active Latino voters for non-active Latino voters. The numbers looked the same, but the ability for Latinos to elect a candidate of their choosing was purposely diluted.

Republicans Can’t Catch A Break With Latinos

The old and failed “You’re  conservative like us” plan to lure Latinos to the Republicans seems to be failing–still. As Tea Partiers double-down against issues like a woman’s right to choose, recent polling by Latino Decisions finds that social issues are not even showing up on Latino political radars.

For Latinos the issue that matters most is the economy followed closely by immigration.  And on both of these issues the vast majority of Latinos support a more progressive agenda.  Moral issues such as abortion and gay marriage simply don’t appear on the Latino political radar.  The GOP and Latinos may be simpatico on issues of abortion but this is of little help, social issues are not what sway Latinos in the voting booth.

Now, the Republicans might try to score points on jobs and the economy, but when Romney is attacking on welfare, while defending tax cuts for the wealthy, well, I’d predict that none of that will cause Latinos to switch course. The latest polls show Latinos supporting Obama with a 35 and 40 point spread over Romney.

And if that weren’t enough, the one issue that caused President Obama’s “comeback” with Latinos, Deferred Action, should be ended by Romney and the Republicans, according to Texas’ Ted Cruz.

The key for Obama, then, is turnout. And since Republican leader Boehner is hoping Latinos and African Americans don’t show up to vote, the Latino and African American response is obvious:  SHOW UP!

We Didn’t Bat .750 Yesterday

Although it would seem like we batted 3-for-4 yesterday after the Supremes handed down their decisions, the bottom line is that “being brown” will still give a cop a “reasonable suspicion” to check anyone’s papers.

Sure, it would seem that the process to do that has been weakened, but since when have bad cops not harassed people for being brown during this immigration debate? And let’s remember, it’s still Arizona–home of Joe Arpaio, hero to the two guys gunning for Sheriff Adrian Garcia here in Harris County.

I spent the whole day contemplating the ruling yesterday, and it was noted Historian and Professor Rudy Acuña who had the right response (emphasis is mine):

We lost pure and simple. Democracy lost pure and simple. Something is constitutional or it isn’t. The truth is not relative and we should not delude ourselves into thinking, we won!

Ultimately, what was struck down was the ugliness that is said to have gone “too far.” Making working and not carrying your papers a crime, as well as putting Joe Arpaio-styled round-ups into question, is a good thing, no doubt. But even President Obama stated it quite correctly:

“No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion because of what they look like,” Obama said.

The way I see it, Republicans like Brewer, Rick Perry and the rest of the xenophobes now see a clear path as to how far they can really go the next time their legislatures meet.

The politics of the immigration issue is ugly. Republicans are the ugliest on the issue as they shovel this ugliness into our lives in the form of legislation, like SB1070. Democrats, on the other hand, have been indifferent or have not put this issue, comprehensive immigration reform, specifically, into the national conversation. It’s the ugliness that we debate over, instead what may be positive.

Our leaders are playing baseball politics–wins and losses, and how they can keep batting 1.000. A politician who gives the image of passing legislation may seem stronger to some. But to those under attack–whether under threat of deportation or citizens who are brown and give cops a “reasonable suspicion” to question–expect our leaders to fight. In this case, a fight for CIR–won or lost–would have been more politically productive, in my opinion. And to hell with our batting percentages.

What this decision leaves open is a debate over the ugliness the Republicans offer against a community versus a slightly stronger defense of a community. Frankly, I’m sick of it, but the fight–in the courts and at the ballot box–must continue.

Beyond immigration, issues such as education, health care, and especially jobs and the economy, are foremost on our minds. But they are all intertwined, and exploited by Republicans, thus making Latinos–citizen and paperless–the cucui. We must make the right decisions at the ballot box, and to me it remains quite obvious that the Republicans are not on our side on any of these issues.

Supremes to Decide Affirmative Action: A Perfect Storm

It really does look like a perfect storm–well-coordinated and perfectly positioned, time-wise.

The Supremes will take on the issue of Affirmative Action at colleges and universities in the fall–around the time of the elections. It is scary to think that the Supreme Court could have a hand in turning back the clock; however, the attack against diversity is nothing new.

Ever since Dumbocrat AG Dan Morales opened the door to attack through his awful interpretation of Hopwood, the right-wing has been relentless. Any white kid who didn’t get into UT was given the right to blame any brown or black kid for blocking them from attending, it seemed. Forget that ones experiences could make that person a better candidate, or yes, even forget that Texas was becoming a lot more diverse, particularly when it comes to college admissions.

Back to the perfect storm, the Supremes are already taking on some hot topics regarding diversity, so “race” will be in the news from now on as arguments and opinions fly about. What adds to the worry is this:

But there have been changes in the Supreme Court since then. For one thing, Justice Samuel Alito appears more hostile to affirmative action than his predecessor, Sandra Day O’Connor. For another, Justice Elena Kagan, who might be expected to vote with the court’s liberal-leaning justices in support of it, is not taking part in the case.

Kagan’s absence probably is a result of the Justice Department‘s participation in the Texas case in the lower courts at a time when she served as the Obama administration’s solicitor general.

I can already see the responses or excuses, like “we are colorblind,” or “we don’t need it anymore,” or “things are better, you should be happy with that.”

And those are just the nicer ones. Don’t even read the comments in the Chron

Ultimately, this just shows how important elections really are. There is no sense in waiting to see what the decision may be; it’s just time to get out the vote!

Abriendo Puertas: Guerra on Sotomayor Confirmation

Carlos Guerra at the San Antonio Express-News really has been writing some award-winning stuff lately, and his latest column gives us a look at the future of Latinos post-Sotomayor Confirmation.

Today, when the judge becomes Justice Sonia Sotomayor, she will become the 111th member, the third woman and first Hispanic admitted into the nation’s most exclusive club.

And for many pursuing careers in many fields, the ceilings of glass will shatter — because the doors to the highest aspirations will finally fly open.

He even cites some pretty impressive examples.  Give it a read.

Lalo Alcaraz debuts “Suprema”

Get yours today!

Get yours today!

From Lalo:  SOTOMAYOR CONFIRMED! I’m making another run of the Sotomayor posters and the NEW “SUPREMA” POSTER , so nows the time to order one! Please send $15 for the 1st, $10 for each addl., (Checks & mo’s made out to Eduardo Lopez) to LALO ALCARAZ STUDIO 6745 Washington Ave., #156, Whittier, CA 90601.

Hutchison to Vote NO on Sotomayor

Proving that she is just as anti-Latino as any other Republinut, KBH has announced that she will vote against Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation as the first Latina on the Supreme Court.

Apparently, she’s trying to out-anti-Latino Rick Perry and the Republicans in her run for Governor.  The people of Texas, especially Texas Latinos, need to realize that she is just another bad republican.

And White Obamacratic women who are talking foolishness about voting in the Republican primary for KBH need to cut the bull. She is not the lesser of two evils, she is just as bad as the rest of them.

Poco a Poco…Sotomayor is Almost There, But…

You know what really angered me? That the Republicans voting against her voted “by proxy.”  Not only do they fail as leaders in their own Party, they prove they are the slimy, lilly-livered, spineless, d—less, hopeless, sacks of monkey crap they are!

But I will give some tiny ounce of credit to Linsdey Graham.

“I’m deciding to vote for a woman I would not have chosen,” Graham said. Obama’s choice to nominate the first-ever Latina to the highest court is “a big deal,” he added, declaring that, “America has changed for the better with her selection.”

The media’s analysis is this.

Others in the party, however, are concerned that doing so could hurt their efforts to broaden their base, and particularly alienate Hispanic voters, a fast-growing segment of the U.S. electorate.

President Obama received 67% of the Latino vote.  Overall, Democrats were getting closer to 70%.  With less than a third of Latinos still “tercos” and voting Republican because of their anti-woman and anti-gay views, I don’t know if they will be so angered that they will switch.  In other words, can Democrats add to their strong Latino numbers?

Instead of worrying about the 30% that will most likely remain GOPers, Democrats, instead must concentrate on building within the Latino population that leans Democratic, but has become so apathetic and, I would argue, psychologically disenfranchised by Republican attacks and lack of Democratic defense.  At times, Latinos can’t figure out where Democrats stand, especially on immigration, 287(g) and enforcement-only policies that continue with President Obama in office.

Democrats must do better than the same old, failed formulas provided by high-paid consultants whose only job is to target “likely voters.”

Texas Dems React to Cornyn’s No Vote

Bill White, candidate for U.S. Senate

Senator John Cornyn acknowledged that Sonia Sotomayor has an excellent background, the right temperament, and a record of mainstream decisions. Her life has been an inspiration. Texas’ Senator should do what is right for our state and our mainstream values. Senator Cornyn’s “no” vote on Sotomayor represents political posturing for one wing of one party, politics as usual. As our next Senator, I will do what’s right for Texas.

Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer, Chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus

His no vote will be a symbolic gesture to the largest growing demographic in Texas. As a distinguished graduate of both Princeton and Yale, a respected former prosecutor, and as a judge with hundreds of publications and opinions; she is not only a qualified Latina– she is a qualified jurist. Her credentials are superior and unparalleled. To her credit, she has the endorsement of not only the American Bar Association but also the United States Chamber of Commerce.

According to the 2000 United States Census, Latinos make up 12.5 percent of the population and only 2.2 percent of the lawyers, a disparity gap that will only widen as Texas moves toward 2020, when Latinos are expected to overtake Anglos as a majority population. The confirmation of Judge Sotomayor ought to be done on the basis of her stellar credentials, but you cannot ignore the effect that the first Latina justice on the Supreme Court of the United States will have on Texas and the rest of the world.

State Rep. Roberto R. Alonzo

I am disappointed and find it somewhat unfortunate that our own US Senator from Texas, John Cornyn, will not be among those included on the “yes” list of supporters on the Sotomayor nomination,” stated Rep. Alonzo. “The fact remains that Sotomayor has more experience as a judge than any current member of the high court, her credentials are unparalleled by few, and without a doubt, our president is to be commended indeed for his brave action in submitting her nomination. There is no doubt in my mind that Justice Sotomayor’s past judicial experience, extensive background in public service, and strong family upbringing, coupled with her exemplary community service and civic volunteerism on behalf of the downtrodden and less fortunate, will make her an excellent choice as our next Supreme Courte Justice,” concluded Rep. Alonzo.

Joe Montemayor, candididate for Justice of the Peace, Pct. 3-2, Retired Federal Agent

He claims that he fears her liberal view on gun control and property rights as an excuse for his decision but in truth he fears the GOP would cut off their financial support. Decisions based on doing what politically right instead of what is morally right has become the norm for the junior Senator from Texas.

Chairman Boyd Richie, Texas Democratic Party

“John Cornyn’s unprincipled, knee-jerk opposition to Judge Sotomayor’s nomination is a slap in the face to all Texans who believe our legal system works best when the most qualified individuals from all walks of life bring their talents to the courts to provide justice for all Americans.”

There will be more, I’m sure.

Interesting Brown Bag at HCDP

The Harris County Democratic Party hosted another interesting Brown Bag discussion, featuring legal and ethics scholars, Martin Siegel and Leslie Griffin.

Siegel and Griffin discussed the Sotomayor hearings, as well as various cases recently decided by the SCOTUS and Sotomayor.  It was another packed room at the HCDP HQ.

Leslie Griffin

Leslie Griffin

Martin Siegel and Chairman Birnberg

Martin Siegel and Chairman Birnberg

Another Packed Room

Another Packed Room

Lalo Alcaraz’s Take on the Hearings