Good morning. I am Congresswoman Linda Sánchez from California.
This week, President Bush nominated Harriet Miers, one of his closest friends, to serve on the United States Supreme Court – a lifetime appointment on the highest court in our country. The Supreme Court’s decisions have serious implications for our civil rights and our liberties.
Once again, President Bush has missed a historic opportunity to nominate a qualified Hispanic to the Supreme Court. In seeking to put his friend on the Supreme Court, the President overlooked many qualified Hispanics. The Hispanic community has many lawyers, judges, and outstanding legal scholars who are eminently qualified to be a Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
I'm disappointed he did not look to our nation's largest minority community to fill this critical vacancy on the Supreme Court. The Hispanic community is the largest minority group in the United States, but we are grossly under-represented in the judicial branch. It is difficult to understand the President's decision to once again bypass the Hispanic community.
While I will reserve judgment on the Miers nomination, Ms. Miers has the burden of demonstrating that that she is committed to our civil rights, and is suitable for a lifetime position on the Supreme Court. As one conservative columnist noted, the Supreme Court is too significant to reduce it "to a private plaything useful for fulfilling whims on behalf of friends."
President Bush has not only squandered this opportunity, but he has also failed our community when it comes to a lack of creating jobs, lack of health care security, and his poor response to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. On immigration, President Bush has not stood up against the vicious anti-immigrant attacks from the far right of his party.
Democrats have always stood up for the interests of Latino families and all hard working Americans. Our vision of equality and opportunity contrasts with the culture of corruption and cronyism that Republicans have brought to Congress, the federal government, and now, the Supreme Court.
Democrats will continue to support policies that help all Americans – especially Latinos – achieve the American Dream.
I am Congresswoman Linda Sánchez from California. Thank you for listening.