Unsung Heroes of Hispanic Heritage Month: The Honorable Jed Bartlet

They were ordinary people living ordinary lives, until one singular sensation of circumstance conspired with fate to make them UNSUNG HEROES OF HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH.

When a liberal Supreme Court justice retired in 1998, Pres. Jed Bartlet and his staff thought this was the perfect opportunity to increase approval ratings with a politically “safe” nominee, Judge Peyton Harrison.

The retiring justice, a liberal, was not impressed by Bartlet’s choice and urged him to consider another candidate. Bartlet asked his aide Toby Ziegler to review their decision. Ziegler, after walking and talking with other habitues of the West Wing, was uncomfortable with the prospect of losing the easy confirmation, but complied.

Zeigler learned that Harrison once argued against a guarantee of privacy, and told Bartlet a backup candidate should be vetted as a possible replacement nominee.

The President, after more walking and talking through the White House, personally interviewed the backup possibility and questioned him closely on his views on the right to privacy.

Bartlet, convinced that he finally found the right right man for the job, made history as he nominated Judge Roberto Mendoza (photo, below) to be the first Latino Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Estates.