Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Half of US Hispanic Voters Oppose Sotomayor's Affirmative Action Ideology

Here's the results of a new Quinnipac poll that shows the great majority of Americans disagree with the nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, on her decision in the New Haven, Connecticut firefighters case Ricci v. DeStafano:
American voters say 55 - 36 percent that affirmative action should be abolished, and disagree 71 - 19 percent with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's ruling in the New Haven firefighters' case, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

More than 70 percent of voters say diversity is not a good enough reason to give minorities preferential treatment in competition for government or private sector jobs, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey of more than 3,000 voters finds.

What I really like about this poll is that it breaks down the opinions of blacks and Hispanics:
Oppose 70 - 25 percent giving some racial groups preference for government jobs to increase diversity. Black voters support it 49 - 45 percent while Hispanic voters are opposed 58 - 38 percent;
Oppose 64 - 29 percent affirmative action for Hispanics in hiring, promotion and college entry. Black voters support it 59 - 30 percent while Hispanics split 47 - 48 percent;
Oppose 61 - 33 percent affirmative action for blacks in hiring, promotion and college entry. Black voters support this 69 - 26 percent, as do Hispanics 51 - 46 percent;

The opinion writer Ruben Navarrette had an piece in this morning's paper "GOP risks losing Latino vote for decades" if they continue in their disrespectful opposition to Sotomayor. But he avoided mentioning her Ricci decision in the article. And now we see in this poll that roughly half of Hispanic voters oppose affirmative action. I think Republicans need to be respectful. But they do not have to give her a pass on her opinion on affirmative action as reflected in her dismissive treatment of the Ricci case. USA Today reports:
The case offers a test of overlapping anti-discrimination laws, as well as of how judges handle incendiary disputes over racial policies. Federal law bars both intentional discrimination and indirect bias from seemingly neutral exams that disproportionately hurt women or minorities.

Six of Sotomayor's appeals court colleagues who urged further review of the dispute said the Sotomayor majority was failing "to grapple with ... questions of exceptional importance."

More scathingly, since her nomination last week by President Obama, critics such as the Cato Institute's Ilya Shapiro say the case suggests Sotomayor takes a different tack toward whites who allege bias than she does to minorities. "The lead plaintiff in this case is dyslexic," said Shapiro, referring to Frank Ricci, a white firefighter who says he spent $1,000 on study aids for the exam. Shapiro said if anyone deserved the "empathy" Obama has said he wants in a Supreme Court jurist, it's Ricci.

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