Jewish World Review March 20, 2003 / 16 Adar II, 5763

Bob Tyrrell

Bob Greene
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Revealed! Estrada is a gifted linguist -- a Japanese-American fluent in Spanish


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | So far as I have been able to ascertain, I am the only syndicated columnist to take issue with the Republican majority on the Senate Judiciary Committee now claiming that President George W. Bush's nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Miguel Estrada, is Hispanic.

According to my sources and to mounting evidence that I have accumulated, Estrada is actually Japanese. I revealed this startling finding in this space in mid-February; and you can be sure that the humorless Sen. Patrick Leahy, ranking Democrat on the committee, is even now preparing a clever attack on Estrada's veracity before his committee.

Over the weekend, I picked up more information that Estrada is not, as advertised, "the first Hispanic ever nominated for the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia." Rather, he is a gifted linguist -- a Japanese-American fluent in Spanish. I personally witnessed him in broad daylight eating sushi during lunch at a restaurant near his home in Old Town Alexandria. His lunch consisted mainly of tuna.

That ought to get Leahy's blood boiling. The Vermont Democrat is famously touchy about Republicans lying under oath. Not that Leahy is a rigid man, or, as the phrase has it, judgmental. He has accepted some deception and even some lying as permissible.

For instance, a Democratic president not long ago perjured himself; and Leahy was very understanding. Yet, you can be sure that he draws the line when an appellate court nominee, tries to conceal his Japanese heritage with bogus claims to Hispanic blood.

Frankly, I would not be surprised to see all the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee rise up as one to cite this growing controversy over Estrada's ethnicity as evidence that he is anti-Hispanic. Remember, last weekend I spotted Estrada eating sushi. In fact I may email Leahy my findings.

You might think it implausible for the Democrats to mount a campaign charging that Miguel Estrada is a sushi-eating Japanese-American with a pronounced prejudice against Hispanics. Yet consider Sen. Charles E. Schumer's argument against Estrada. The New York Democrat claims a judicial nominee's ideology disqualifies that nominee when the ideology is not Democratic. Now of course that means that the Senate minority -- which is to say the Democrats -- should decide whom the majority -- which is to say the Republicans -- puts on the court. Schumer, who incidentally is equally as humorless as Leahy, envisages democracy to mean rule by the minority. His claim is implausible even absurd, but he believes it and almost no one has cited the absurdity of the position.

The Democratic minority has been advancing preposterous positions for so long that much of Washington is apparently numb to their excesses. The standard for accepting a judicial nominee before the Democrats changed the rules during Judge Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination was proven knowledge of the law by a person of proven integrity -- that was it. Ideology did not matter. Ethnicity did not matter. America was governed by the rule of law, and whether a judge was a Republican or a Spanish-speaking Japanese-American, the judge had to apply the law as the legislature passed that law. By politicizing the judiciary, the Democrats are transforming the rule of law into the rule of judges unaccountable to the electorate or even to the language of the law.

It is time for the Republicans to get tough with these bullies. For two years, Estrada's life has been held in suspended animation. He has no idea what he will be doing in the future until the Republicans either withdraw his nomination or overwhelm Democratic partisanship.

The Republicans are the majority party. They can deny appropriations to every state with a Democratic Senate delegation -- for instance, New York and California. Let those state's senators explain to their constituencies why their states are being starved for funds because Schumer demands that the president nominate Democrats to the judiciary. The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration can deny Democrats who obstruct the judicial nominating process office space, budget allotments and their beloved hideaway offices. The committee can cut back the obstructionists' parking privileges and reallocate them. I say give Schumer a parking spot over by the Supreme Court or out in the suburbs. A walk to the office would do him good.

At some point, the mistreatment of judicial nominees really ought to end. It is an impossible proposition to insist that the Senate majority nominate judges that hold to the politics of the Senate minority. Moreover, it is an injustice to keep a perfectly honorable American's life in limbo merely because he is willing to serve on the federal bench, even if he is coy about his ethnic background. Sen. Leahy, are you listening?

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Bob Tyrrell is editor in chief of The American Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

03/14/03: Genuinely in charge
03/10/03: Stalin and Saddam
03/05/03: They just cannot stomach a protracted alliance with the Bushies
02/25/03: Identity gridlock
02/18/03: People calling Dean a fruitcake are underestimating his political savvy
02/13/03: The new political establishment
01/30/03: The time is now
01/27/03: Witnessing self-love by people completely incapable of self-criticism
01/21/03: Of course our kiddies are depressed
01/13/03: Why is it that Official Washington still believes that a tax reduction means a revenue reduction?
01/02/03: Missing Moi
12/27/02: The grizzled and menacing-looking senator in Confederate drag is a Dem
12/24/02: Uprooting Christianity in the Holy Land
12/20/02: Under fire, Lott showed an ignobleness that is embarrassing
11/26/02: Bartley's enemies have been routed
11/14/02: Clarence Thomas and the segregationist Mississippi sheriff
11/07/02: I muffed up
10/31/02: Is the American university turning its back on change, on progress?
10/24/02: So why aren't the Dems buoyant?
10/17/02: Mourning the loss of the "yellow-belly"
10/10/02: American politics at its most ignominious
10/03/02: A man above the law, a bully
09/26/02: Is Bob Greene a victim of an anti-Clinton backlash?
09/19/02: I knew Mafiosi and
09/12/02: Chickens and poseurs
09/05/02: Sympathizing with the Europols
08/29/02: 9-11 did not change us forever
08/22/02: Public persons frivoling with serious matters
08/15/02: Beachcombing among the fat of the land
08/08/02: They pave the way for corruption, not personal responsibility
08/01/02: Believing the unbelievable
07/25/02: The congressional posse comitatus
07/18/02: Cosmopolitan Arab fashion
07/11/02: What the prez actually knows
07/04/02: The vindication of a truly original thinker
06/27/02: The perfect book for Hillary
06/20/02: To say that they were ordinary is not to slight them
06/13/02: Daschle must begin to act like an adult
06/06/02: Lack of "intelligence" --- and sheer stupidity
05/30/02: Revealing a carefully guarded media secret
05/23/02: In these times, thank Heaven for Clinton!
05/16/02: Fast Times at the Church of the Nativity
05/09/02: "Name the Prettiest Suicide Bomber"
05/02/02: Vindication for the Boy Scouts
04/25/02: A topic almost no other columnist will touch
04/18/02: 'Conventional Wisdom' --- and those who defy it
04/11/02: Let the Sun shine in
04/05/02: Hooded men of color in sheets
04/01/02: A McCain-Feingold Act for Hollywood
03/21/02: Yakkin' on Yates
03/15/02: No role for Paul Volcker in Enron: the movie
03/07/02: My membership in the Communist Party U.S.A.
02/27/02: This award is bestowed by 'contrarians'
02/21/02: Mike Tyson: Made for Washington?
02/14/02: Enron as underdog?
02/07/02: Freed from the presence of money -- hard or soft -- most politicians would be just as bad
01/31/02: Needed: Bush to make a preemptive strike against his enemies . Ones who'd like to see him fail even during war
01/24/02: Hucksters will move on to make their next marks
01/17/02: Debonair prez should begin to do the High Life
01/10/02: Move over Twinkies --- "the acne medicine made him do it!"
01/03/02: Leaving the Nazis looking comparatively humane
12/27/01: A "self-made journalist"
12/20/01: Calamities and unanticipated benefits
12/13/01: America's grief ought not to give comfort to those who caused it
12/06/01: Leahy, the strict civil libertarian!? A short-term exploiter of the Constitution is more like it
11/29/01: Welcome to Afghan, Maryland?
11/26/01: So, why don't more folks hate us?
11/15/01: America's quagmire and other certainties
11/09/01: No longer the smug statists, the prodigal Keynesians?
11/01/01: The New Seriousness
10/25/01: Bright lights and the Taliban
10/18/01: Is bin-Laden propaganda from Western intelligence?
10/12/01: No yellow ribbons
10/05/01: Bubba's back --- again!
09/28/01: Exposing peacetime's frauds
09/21/01: So protected, we're vulnerable
09/14/01: At Barbara Olson's home
09/11/01: Duh! All conservatives are racists
08/31/01: Arafat's terrorists have created their own hell
08/24/01: Time for some political prophecy
08/16/01: They claim to be doing so much good
08/10/01: Visiting the source of the White House braintrust
08/03/01: Morality and reality
07/31/01: Blinded by success?
07/24/01: The latest Kennedy capitulation in Massachusetts
07/13/01: Talk about tawdry
07/06/01: Delighting in the Dictator
06/29/01: The Godphobes
06/21/01: Fashionable Washington is sempiternally in a stew
06/15/01: The limits of hypocrisy
06/08/01: Flagging our general apathy

© 2001, Creators Syndicate