You guys may have heard this, but Pres. Obama, being a baseball fan (though we can all question who he roots for
), nominated the woman who "saved baseball" to replace retiring Justice David Souter in the Supreme Court.
U.S. District Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor ruled in favor of the MLB Players Association and the National Labor Relations Board on March 31, 1995, which effectively ended the strike/lockout of 1994-95 that cancelled the 1994 World Series and effectively threatened the existance of the game. She also ruled in favor of the NFL to block the entry of Maurice Clarett into the 2004 draft.
Quoting the New York Daily News:
Obama mentioned Sonia Sotomayor's role in sports history as he nominated her to replace departing Justice David Souter, who is retiring from the court following the current session. Sotomayor is a former trial judge who has served 11 years on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.
"A lifelong Yankees fan, I hope this will not disqualify her in the eyes of the New Englanders in the Senate," Obama said on Tuesday morning as he introduced Sotomayor to the nation.
On March 31, 1995, Sotomayor issued an injunction effectively ending baseball's longest and most damaging strike and lockout - a seven-month-old clash between players and owners. The case had ended up in Sotomayor's court after the National Labor Relations Board charged the owners with committing unfair labor practices. A U.S. District Court Judge at the time, Sotomayor agreed that owners were violating labor law, and ordered them to reinstate their previous Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was five years old at the time, and to "bargain in good faith" with the players union.
Sotomayor said then that after eight days of "thinking and reading and deciding" she had taken her position "to protect the integrity of collective bargaining." Her ruling came just weeks before the 1995 baseball season was set to get underway with replacement players on the field. The work stoppage had led to the cancellation of the 1994 World Series and caused a marked decline in fan interest from which baseball didn't recover for years.
"[With] a swiftness much appreciated by baseball fans everywhere, she issued an injunction that helped end the strike," President Obama said this morning.
Of course, the lady's a Yankee fan, having grown up in the shadow of old Yankee Stadium. You can't fault her passion for the game, but we can question her allegience to a team that overspends and underachieves.