Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Democrats have been blocking the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the DC Circuit court of appeals because he refuses to articulate his views on pretty much anything, and Dubya's crew refuses to release memos he wrote which might shed light on them. But as to his general outlook, an ex-classmate recalls:

Though Estrada has been described by promoters as an immigrant who at 17 arrived in the United States without speaking a word of English, he was hardly the abject refugee that description suggests. In fact, he was the son of a high Honduran diplomat and therefore was a member of Honduras' very small and privileged elite. And his political views reflect the comfortable narrowness of that elite. ...

I recall challenging the legitimacy of the Honduran government, which was and still is known for its corruption, its exclusion and repression of the lower classes, and at the time had been implicated in numerous human rights abuses (including assassinations), some tied to the U.S.-supported Contra war against Nicaragua. His counterfactual answer stuck with me: "Honduras is a pure democracy, just like the United States."

And just like the one we're making in Iraq. (See below).

The court to which Estrada has been nominated is considered widely to be a steppingstone to the U.S. Supreme Court, so the fact that he could be "possibly the first Hispanic American to sit on the highest bench in the land" actually increases concern. There are many top-flight Latino lawyers in the United States, even from our class of '86. If a seat should be set up for an American of Latin American descent, Hispanics and moderate Republicans would do well to support someone more likely to bring a broader, and more inclusive, definition of society and politics to important decisions.

Estrada also supported General Pinochet's bloody coup against Allende, arguing that Allende's government was not legitimate in the first place, since he had won only a plurality of the vote, and not an outright majority. Gee, I wonder what he thinks of George Dubya Bush?

Ooops: Forgot to mention this comes via Tbogg.


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