People for the “American Way” – Sliming the Victim

by Crocker on July 14, 2009, 7:23 pm

in Culture,Politics

Last Friday, McClatchy reported that People for the American Way is working to slime the lead plaintiff in the Ricci case that’s at the center of Justice Sotormayor’s confirmation.

Supporters of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor are quietly targeting the Connecticut firefighter who’s at the center of Sotomayor’s most controversial ruling.

On the eve of Sotomayor’s Senate confirmation hearing, her advocates have been urging journalists to scrutinize what one called the “troubled and litigious work history” of firefighter Frank Ricci.

This is opposition research: a constant shadow on Capitol Hill. . . .

On Friday, citing in an e-mail “Frank Ricci’s troubled and litigious work history,” the liberal advocacy group People for the American Way drew reporters’ attention to Ricci’s past. Other advocates for Sotomayor have discreetly urged journalists to pursue similar story lines.

Specifically, the advocates have zeroed in on an earlier 1995 lawsuit Ricci filed claiming the city of New Haven discriminated against him because he’s dyslexic. The advocates cite other Hartford Courant stories from the same era recounting how Ricci was fired by a fire department in Middletown, Conn., allegedly, Ricci said at the time, because of safety concerns he raised.

What does PFAW hope to gain with this line of attack? While it’s true that Sen. Jeff Sessions has Ricci on the witness list against Sotomayor, Ricci is no Anita Hill. He’s the successful plaintiff who won in the Supreme Court, for God’s sake. There’s no personal connection here, no question of the nominee’s character. And since when did sliming successful plaintiffs become the “American Way”?

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Los-Man July 15, 2009 at 6:29 am

To answer your concluding question, I believe it started when people stopped questioning the virtues of a system that allows people to advance in life by being the squeaky wheel.

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