Sonia Sotomayor's rise from public housing and life story as a Latina from the Bronx are seen by many as excellent reasons to put her on the court--facets of her life that have led her to pragmatic fair-mindedness as a jurist. They're seen by others as flimsy reasons to nominate anyone.
But James Warren, at his Atlantic Correspondents blog, sees some disconnect between the debate over Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the highest court and what's going on in one of the lowest ones--Chicago's eviction court, where the everyday struggles of trying to keep a roof over one's head, paying a mortgage despite delinquent residents, property scams and system-gaining tenants are laid bare:
There's no debate here over affirmative action, abortion, legislative redistricting, or whether a Latina judge of a certain pedigree can reach smarter conclusions than white males. There's no inspiration for cable television duels, like those over Sonia Sotomayor. There are only the quotidian matters of mostly little people in trouble, with a distinctly primal element at stake: the roof over their heads.
It's an assembly line of pathos unknown to the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices, who've never been trial judges of this sort and live in a comparatively rarified sanctum where they need not look a litigant in the eye each day, change that person's circumstances in a heartbeat and must sleep with the consequences. If this is mixed martial arts, the Supreme Court is lawn bowling or badminton (with America's longest summer vacation).