Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has cast her first vote as a member of the court, voting to stay the execution of Jason Getsy, who is scheduled to be killed tomorrow in Ohio. Unfortunately, she was on the losing side of the argument as her five fellow Catholics on the bench voted to let the judiciously sanctioned murder proceed. Still, hats off to Justice Sotomayor for being on the side of the angels on this one. And, for being on the side of the Church.
Sotomayor also made the front cover of El Pregonero, the Spanish-language weekly published by the archdiocese of Washington. A photo of Sotomayor with President Obama standing beside her takes up nearly the entire front page of the newspaper with the headline “Si ella pudo, nosotros tambien!” which translates roughly “If she can, so can we!” The newspaper ran an editorial  praising the historic significance of her confirmation and noting her calm, thoughtful demeanor during the sometimes harsh and dismissive questioning she received in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Latinos are the future of the church in the United States. And, the values they bring with them, values born of a culture that was itself born in the Catholic faith, can hopefully bring new life to an often superficial, consumer-driven, spread eagle capitalist mainstream culture. Sotomayor has become the face of, and the vehicle for, so many hopes for her fellow Latinos but also for many of us Anglos. Lou Dobbs and his crowd fret about the effects of the huge influx of Latinos on American culture. I welcome it.