Flashback: Republicans Accused Dems Of Racism For Opposing Hispanic Judicial Nominee

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May 28, 2009 8:24 a.m.

The conservatives organizing against Sonia Sotomayor have so far have coalesced around the arguments that Sotomayor has been picked as a “reverse-racist” appointment of a Hispanic, and how dare you call them racists for opposing her. But as Media Matters points out, back in 2003 the right was more than willing to accuse Democrats of being racist against Hispanics for opposing George W. Bush’s nomination of Miguel Estrada for the Court of Appeals.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), who is now the Senate GOP whip, said of the Dems blocking the nomination: “I see this, really, as a slap at Hispanics.” And Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) declared that “some of the opponents of him are racist.” Other Republicans who are no longer in Congress, including Sens. Rick Santorum and Trent Lott and Rep. Henry Bonilla, made similar remarks.

And the Committee For Justice — one of the groups now mobilizing against Sotomayor — ran an ad: “Call the Senate Democrats. Tell them it’s time for intolerance to end. Anything less is offensive, unfair, and not the American way.”

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