Supreme Court nominations require the media and politicians to develop their own delicate code words. Otherwise, you're liable to be accused of a " high-tech lynching." So what does it mean when someone calls Barack Obama nominee Sonia Sotomayor "vibrant," "domineering," or even "Maria"? The Daily Beast has assembled a glossary to guide you through the upcoming debate over her nomination.
The Bronx -noun
1. A borough of New York City that confers authenticity on those who are born there: Born in the South Bronx, she was raised in a housing project not far from Yankee Stadium, making her a lifelong Yankees fan.— Barack Obama;
Sonia Sotomayor—who rose from the broken-glass streets of a city housing project to become the Supreme Court's first Latina nominee—says she's just a "kid from the Bronx."— Daily News.
1. Hispanic; esp. Puerto Rican: Sotomayor's humble upbringing has shaped her personality—vibrant and colorful, and so different from the Bronx projects where she grew up in a working-class existence in a home with a drab yellow kitchen.— Associated Press.
[A] brilliant, accomplished and colorful choice to replace Justice David Souter— Ronald Goldfarb.
1. bitchy; behaving like a female in a position of power: [Sotomayor] is reportedly domineering in oral arguments. — Fox’s Bill Hemmer;
She has an inflated opinion of herself and is domineering during oral arguments— Jeffrey Rosen.
1. a condition unique to liberals whose symptoms include spinelessness and cowardice: Crazy nonsense empathetic. I'll give you empathy. Empathize right on your behind. Craziness.— Michael Steele;
In the president's now-famous word, judging should be shaped by " empathy" as much or more than by reason.— The Wall Street Journal.
1. born into poverty: I've decided to nominate an inspiring woman who I believe will make a great justice, Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the great state of New York.— Barack Obama.
Judge Sotomayor has an inspiring story of success in the face of hardship.— Blanche Lincoln.
1. a name that for some Republicans is interchangeable with “Sonia”: The appointment of Maria Sotomayor for the Supreme Court is the clearest indication yet that President Obama's campaign promises to be a centrist and think in a bipartisan way were mere rhetoric.— Mike Huckabee.
1. any number of liberal causes, including abortions and affirmative action run amok: [The] Court of Appeals is where policy is made.— Sonia Sotomayor.
Quota Queen -noun
1. a minority woman who emasculates white men through affirmative action: She’s something of a Quota Queen.— Ron Dreher.
1. a minority person who suggests that racism still exists and should be corrected: Here you have a racist — you might want to soften that, and you might want to say a reverse- racist.— Rush Limbaugh;
White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw.— Newt Gingrich.
social justice -noun
1. a communist revolution or plot: [Obama] wants someone who is smart enough, but whose real priorities can be boiled down to trite lefty tropes about " social justice."— Jonah Goldberg.
1. similar to disposition; something that can disqualify a female judicial appointee: Substantial questions also persist regarding Judge Sotomayor’s temperament and disposition to be a Supreme Court justice.— Michelle Malkin;
She really lacks judicial temperament— Almanac of the Federal Judiciary.
1. aggrieved, esp. with regard to a minority person who fails to appreciate what has already been given to him or her: Sotomayor was ultimately unsatisfied by the appointment of Luis Garcia as associate dean of student affairs in September 1974.— Michael Goldfarb.
affirmative action -noun
1.The condition of being a successful minority: She is an affirmative action case extraordinaire and she has put down white men in favor of Latina women.— Rush Limbaugh;
I say it’s affirmative action. They were picked because she’s a woman and a Hispanic.— Pat Buchanan.
Ben Crair is an assistant editor at The Daily Beast.