At minimum let's watch to see how long the claim that "Sonya Sotomayor is the first Hispanic nominated to the US Supreme Court" remains as a talking point? (I just heard the Fox 5 Atlanta anchor make this claim yet again)
Let's hear them as they ask "what claim can they make about this highly qualified candidate who graduated at the top of her class":
Qualification's Don't Matter:
He (Miguel Estrada) graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor's degree from Columbia in 1983. He received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree magna cum laude in 1986 from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. After law school, Estrada served as a law clerk to Judge Amalya Lyle Kearse of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He then clerked for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court during his first year on the Court in 1988.
Tactics Used By The Political Opposition Don't Trigger A Hispanic Backlash
Miguel Angel Estrada Castañeda (born September 25, 1961) is an American lawyer who became embroiled in controversy following his 2001 nomination by President George W. Bush to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Unable to block Estrada's nomination in the Senate Judiciary Committee after the Republican Party took control of the Senate in 2003, Senate Democrats used a filibuster to prevent his nomination from being given a final confirmation vote on the full Senate floor. Although a filibuster had been used in 1968 to prevent the elevation of Associate Justice Abe Fortas to the position of Chief Justice of the United States, Estrada's filibuster was the first ever to be used against a Circuit Court of Appeals nominee.
So there you have the facts to work with.
There is no doubt about it that the left wing is going to attempt to equate any "attack on Sotomayor" as an attack on a "qualified Hispanic candidate" and warn of "Hispanic voter retribution against the GOP". It is clear that they have no credibility in the realm of "attacks upon Hispanics".
The New Haven Fire Fighters
The most ironic issue to consider is the contradiction in having Judge Sotomayor's supporters throwing up her SUPERIOR qualifications while at the same time failing to note the fact that in New Haven "superior qualifications" was not enough to have Judge Sotomayor who presided over the appeal of the fire fighters who had their promotions thrown out to be judged favorably by Judge Sotomayor.