Jarrett: Sotomayor's Background Made Her 'Perfect Choice' for Court
By Ben Pershing
How much did President Obama take Sonia Sotomayor's background into account before deciding to nominate her to the Supreme Court? In an interview with the Washington Post's Lois Romano for the "Voices of Power" series, Valerie Jarrett made clear that Sotomayor's biography was a big part of what made her "absolutely the perfect choice" for the slot.
After outlining Sotomayor's professional record, Jarrett laid out the narrative that the judge and her supporters will present during her confirmation hearings. "So you put it all together," Jarrett said, "and then you add to this, this extraordinary American story of growing up so poor in South Bronx and having her father who died at such a young age and seeing her mother work two jobs to help both she and her ... brother go to school, and her brother is now this successful physician, and it really, it's the American dream."
An emphasis on Sotomayor's background leads inevitably to a debate about "empathy" and about her best-known perceived gaffe, her reference to "a wise Latina" reaching "a better conclusion" on the bench than a white male. While the White House has already acknowledged Sotomayor's poor choice of words, Jarrett defended the comment.
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Posted at 8:16 AM ET on Jun 1, 2009
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