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US Supreme Court appointment stirs debate

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-05-28

Today on the Net: Web users have their say on the appointment of a first Hispanic judge to the US Supreme Court; hailing the murderer of a Chinese official celebrated; and the death of the world’s oldest blogger.



Sonia Sotomayor appointed to the US Supreme Court. This announcement was made on Tuesday by US President Barack Obama on his official website. A first for a Hispanic person and one that has prompted many reactions online.


This video, created by the Obama team, presents the 54-year-old Porto Rican, who takes over from judge David Souter as he heads for retirement. A video in which Sotomayor is described as an independent, honest and determined woman.


Meanwhile the online newspaper, The Huffington Post, has published this article with 10 things to know about Sotomayor. These include her struggle with diabetes, a disease with which she has suffered since childhood, and the support she has received from some members of the Republican party.


Her appointment has been welcomed by some. This report, broadcast on the New York Post site shows interviews with Bronx residents, the area where she grew up. They express the pride they feel about seeing one of their own make it to such a high level of responsibility.


Enthusiasm shared by this video blogger, who asserts that with this appointment, Sotomayor represents the American dream - that of a woman coming from a family of immigrants.


However, Obama’s decision is not welcomed by all on the Web. This Net user in Chicago describes the affair as a political tactic. She feels that the appointment is a way for the president to ensure the Hispanic vote at the next elections.


Finally, this ironic video shows Republican criticism, particularly of the appointment. It asks whether Sotomayor, who finished top of her class at University, is intelligent enough to sit in the Supreme Court.




This is Deng Yujiao, the new heroine of the Chinese Web. Net users are sympathetic with this young woman, who has been found guilty of murdering an official who attempted to abuse her.


Details of the story have been widely broadcast online. The victim is said to have asked Deng, who works in a massage parlour, to go to bed with him for money. When she refused, the man apparently struck her and the young woman then defended herself with a knife, stabbing her attacker. The facts have assembled in such a way as to compare the different versions.


The local authorities tried to hush up the affair, but they didn’t count on the mobilisation of Net users, who consider that this was a case of legitimate defence and messages of support have flooded in to discussion forums.


Many poems and songs have been broadcast online, paying homage to the woman who now symbolises the fight against unlawfulness and corruption by local civil servants.


And these students from Beijing have given an artistic performance to express their solidarity, while calling for respect for women and human dignity.


Meanwhile, as shown by this photomontage, the young woman is currently being detained in a psychiatric unit - the authorities stating that she is suffering from mental problems.


The date of her trial has not yet been set. But for Net users this will be a crucial test of the Chinese justice system.

Date created : 2009-05-28