Thursday, August 20, 2009
Sotomayor the First Hispanic Supreme Court Justice?
He decided among many other cases, 'Palsgraf vs. Long Island Railroad', a case which created the fundamental tort law we use today and will use for the foreseeable future. It gave rise to the phrase, "Sue the Bastards".
It seems shameful to give Hispanic gentiles credit for the accomplishments of someone whose connection to them is that they exiled his ancestors. But Sephardic Jews have for centuries made a point of pride of their Hispanic origins so there is no denying it. The analogy I suppose is German Jews being proud of being from Germany, even after the Holocaust.
There is little doubt that Benjamin Cardozo will be a pillar and icon of American law long after Sonia Sotomayor has become just one more picture on a wall, one more name on a list. The difference is between having gone to a prestigious school of law, and having a prestigious school of law named after you.