Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Is Hometown Destiny?

Does the neighborhood we grew up in define our identity forever after? Probably not. But here's a NYT article that says that growing up in New York makes you a particular sort of Supreme Court justice:
“Kagan is so Manhattan, Scalia is so Queens, Ginsburg is so Brooklyn and Sotomayor is so Bronx,” said Joan Biskupic, the author of a biography of Justice Antonin Scalia. “They adopted in their identities the whole New York sensibility.”
And also:
“For most New Yorkers, they will look at the liberal minority and say, ‘That’s us, that’s our America,’ ” Professor Bonventre said, “and so when the court renders liberal decisions and you have all of those four, the three women and the Jewish guy, it will make complete sense to New Yorkers, whereas for the South and the Bible Belt, people are going to say, ‘They don’t understand the rest of America.’
I expect the item is a bit tongue in cheek, but it's still cheeky.

1 comment:

Barry Meislin said...

The court does seem seriously weighted towards the Big Apple. Now, were I a conspiracy theorist....

More seriously, though, and boroughs aside (though it raises some potentially interesting speculation), the defining feature, the ultimate criterion---after all the minutiae on the honored justices (and nominee) is analyzed, churned dissected, minced and then analyzed again---ought to be whether they were (or still are) Yankees fans or Mets fans.

As a poet noted, ...that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know....