The choice of Sonia Sotomayor by President Obama as our next Supreme Court justice was not unexpected, to be sure, but there may be a few Red Sox fans cursing into their corn flakes this morning. Sotomayer, you see, is a Yankees fan; somewhat unavoidable if you grow up in the Bronx.
This was a wise choice by Obama, because Sotomayor has appeal in both the north and south. In addition to being a Yankees fan, she has earned affinity from Atlanta Braves fans after her injunction against owners in 1995 from Federal District Court that effectively ended the baseball strike of the previous year. The Braves went on to win the World Series that season (my choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, Greg Maddux, was virtually ignored).
From an April, 1995 article in the THE NEW YORK TIMES:
Ruling from the bench, Sotomayor chided baseball owners, saying they had no right to unilaterally eliminate the 20-year-old system of free agents and salary arbitration while bargaining continues. With those provisions reinstated, striking players have promised to play ball this season under the terms of the previous contract while the two sides try to hammer out a new deal.
“This strike has placed the entire concept of collective bargaining on trial,” the judge said.
This all brings back painful memories for Canada, however. The Montreal Expos had their first — and as it turns out, only — realistic shot at winning a World Series in ‘94, when the post season was canceled by the strike.
Obama is hopeful that Sotomayor will be confirmed by the time the Supreme Court comes back into session in October. Then she can rule on this.