[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/26/supreme.court/art.scotus.soto.02.cnn.jpg caption="President Obama last week introducing Judge Sonia Sotomayor as his choice for the U.S. Supreme Court."]
Special to CNN
Some of us thought the election of Barack Obama as president might signal a fading away of the old identity politics.
The assumption that fundamental lines of division in politics are set by race and ethnicity would seem to be a bit passé when 43 percent of white voters cast their ballots for a proudly "post-racial" African-American.
But the president himself has made identity politics front-page news with his selection of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as his Supreme Court nominee. She played an important role in the New Haven firefighters' case (Ricci v. DeStefano) now awaiting decision by the Supreme Court.
Sotomayor and two colleagues simply brushed aside the important constitutional and statutory questions raised by the city's decision to discard the results of a race-neutral test given to applicants for promotions within the department. Too many men of the "wrong" color had passed it - that is, all of those who scored highest were white except for one Hispanic.
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