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Sotomayor, Activism and Bias

President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court is producing a raft of journalism and hundreds of comments from our readers who are clearly divided on her merits. Many comments are angry. Some are specifically racist. Many support her nomination. Several say the Post is in the tank for the nominee.

Today, a Post article reports on Sotomayor's student campaign to encourage Princeton University to find room for Hispanics on its faculty and staff by filing a complaint with the appropriate federal agency. Amy Goldstein and Alec MacGillis called the strategy, "Neither rowdy nor meek" and wrote that "it reached boldly for outside legal pressure on the university to diversify the campus."

On Sunday, Robert Barnes and Eli Saslo dissected Sotomayor's role as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in upholding a New Haven, Conn., decision to throw out a promotion test it had given city firefighters when no African Americans and two Hispanics qualified for advancement. Affirmative action infuriates many and is applauded by many, and both sides are heard in that extensive comment string.

We'll start with comments on today's article, which said, "Sotomayor's class was just the third at Princeton that included women." That caused TerryOakland to write, "That's it, right there. That is the kind of world that Sonia Sotomayor grew into, and helped grow out of. Without that context, conservative white male Republican opponents might have a point about her "radical" advocacy. But as we've repeatedly seen, as soon as a single impediment is thrown up against white men, they scream and cry and throw tantrums..."

But luca_20009 wrote, "I wonder if the WaPo would give such a tongue bath to a white male nominee? Obama's payroll must be a nice place to be these days."

And diehardlib said, "Once again, the Post is publishing fluff pieces...this time for Sotomayor. This is not journalism. This is advocacy, and an embarrassment to a supposed top-tier "newspaper" such as the Post."

chatard wrote, "Sotomayor...obviously is confused, angry, anti-social, of suspect temperament and judiciousness and a racist bigot who is only at home among Puerto Ricans, which begs the question -if she cannot afford the airfare, there are boats aren't there?"

CyberPost said, "Of the 110 people who have served on the Supreme Court, only four were not white males. These white men have controlled the US Supreme Court since its foundation... We don't need any more white males in the court who will rule based on their prejudices and who will shove their racist attitudes down our throats."

bluetalon wrote, "Sotomayor is a racist, a sexist, and a radical activist that DOES NOT have the ability to be an unbiased trier of fact. She should be removed from the bench, not promoted to a seat on the SCOTUS."

But coqui44 observed that there are "Lots of racist comments in this section. It doesn't matter for them if the person has the highest IQ in the planet: as long as that person is not a white anglosaxon male, he or she is just a recipient of 'affirmative action'. No real merits or qualifications will do for these racists. That's why is doesn't matter what good information anyone brings about Judge Sotomayor. She will for ever be stained with the sin of not being a white male..."

dottydo wrote, "Thank you for bluntly saying Sotomayor is an activist, because that what she is....and wrong 60 % of the time. Neither piece of resume belongs on the Supreme Court..."

fury60 predicted that "Sotomayor's decision to deny promotions to white firefighters because of the color of their skin is expected to be overruled by the Supreme Court not because it was racist but because it was wrong."

andrew23boyle wrote, "...As long as people, right OR left, continue to worry about race and cast political questions along racial lines, racism will persist. Rather, racism will only end when we ALL put race aside as a consideration when making decisions and begin to judge our fellow citizens as an discrete human-beings independent of their 'race'...Let's grow up a little bit, America."

ts35 said, "...For all those people complaining that Sotomayor's selection was a political move. Yes. It was. Justice nominations are ALWAYS political selections... Did Obama pick Sotomayor in part because she was a Latina? Yes, clearly. Just because he did, it does not mean she is not qualified..."

misss1215 wrote, "I believe Sonia Sotomayor will be a good justice 'cause she is intelligent, well-educated, hard-working & 'real'. I would support a white male if he were all those things and I would oppose a latina if she weren't..."

chuckit said, "I'd love to hear her view on why an illegal alien is deserving of anything other than a ride home. Or why the 14th amendment should not be changed to require that at least one parent should be a legal resident or a citizen before we bestow the honor of citizenship on an often planned delivery. Certainly, LEGAL immigrants deserve all we can offer."

All comments on this article are here.

And now for a few comments from the more than 500 filed in response to Sunday's story, which concentrated on the New Haven case:

Marcus72 wrote, "...It is ridiculous to throw out the results of a test because certain ethnic minorities did not perform well on it. When will garbage like this stop? Throwing out a test because the city did not get the results it wanted is certainly reverse discrimination. Regarding the nomination of her...Will we ever get past identity politics? Why has it come to making sure that we get a woman, a latino, a black, a gay, etc.? I thought that society was supposed to be blind to race, gender, and ethnicity in all matters of employment."

But mbmclaughlin said, "What's the big deal? She thought that the trial judge's opinion was well reasoned in light of the existing law. So did two other judges. Does anyone bother reading the trial judge's opinion? No. Better to just attack her..."

Realist20 wrote, "I can't speak for her other rulings but the Ricci case is right out of 1940's Alabama. She was a pure racist in the Ricci decison ignoring logic and the written law to project her agenda, which incidently the Supreme Court is on the verge of reversing.How could Obama, of all people, suggest a racist should be a Supreme Court Judge?"

mollycoddle1 said, Well, THIS article certainly puts a positive spin on Sotomayor's nomination. The Ricci case is going to hurt her. Whatever Title 7 says, there is no getting around the fact that diversity was more important in the Ricci case than was performance. It's just a fact. It really is time to end affirmative action. It's no good getting a promotion or getting into a school or an organization based on diversity. When that happens, unless you are truly excellent, there will always be questions about how good you are. And that's no good for anyone."

goldie2 wrote, "Us Whites are so spoiled. We expect everything to be in our favor, when a minority knows everything is not in their favor. I am looking forward to the day when whites are no longer a majority in this country. They we might get over it. We are really like bratty children. We complain if someone else dare speak another language in front of us even. We deserve to get taken down a notch or two. And it is coming."

viejo70 said, "Sotomayor is a racist. If she would have been a white man making the same statement about a Latino woman, she would have been thrown off the bench. However being a woman of color she is free to say and act as seems her good. The fact that she identifies her self as a Latino woman disqualifies her..."

And we'll close with this exchange:

mfill asked, "If the white/Hispanic fire fighters in New Haven were NOT denied promotions on the basis of their race, what WAS the basis for this denial?"

To which marknelso replied, "Sadly in this country a test is presumed to be racist if a disproportionate number of minorities do poorly on it. Even if it is appropriately vetted, like the one given to the New Haven firefighters, the city still could be sued. This is totally ridiculous, but it is the law. Sotomayor may have been acting been acting conservatively in her interpretation of the law in the Ricci case. Pretty ironic?"

All comments on the article about the New Haven decisions are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  June 1, 2009; 7:11 AM ET
Categories:  Sotomayor , Supreme Court  | Tags: Sotomayor, Supreme Court  
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Next: Cheney Briefs on Interrogation


Obama administration opens door for Iran's uranium enrichment program!!!

Coward liar Barack HUSSEIN Obama "Apologist in chief", how can he keep his nonsense promise during his campaign, that is, negotiating with U.S. enemies such as North Korea and Iran, which have never respected any treaty with U.S., when North Korea just launched many missile and nuclear tests and illegally arrested two American journalists Laura Ling and Eunu Lee, while Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an extremist who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map and denied the holocaust, again defied U.S. and Europe with his racist hate speech against Israel at a U.N. anti-racism conference? Is Obama going to bow to Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejas as he did to King Abdulla of Saudi Arabia to gain his peace deals? Is he willing to convert to Islam, his Kenyan father and Indonesian step father's religion, to meet Osam Bin Laden's requirement that in order to end the Iraq war, U.S. troop withdrawal is not enough, Americans must reject their democratic system and embrace Islam? Just recently, Obama said that he would support Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy with rigorous inspections, giving a green light to Teheran's ambituous uranium enrichment program, which can be used for nuclear bomb development as well, without suffering sanctions and economic isolation as it currently endures. Does Obama want Iran to become another North Korea using its nuclear power to terrorize the U.S and its allies?
As for waterboarding tactic used by CIA, Obama ordered to stop it even it worked well on terrorist suspects like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-describer planner of 9-11 attacks who provided CIA with valuable information, preventing another 9-11 attack and saving thousands of American lives.

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | June 6, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I think the racist comments made by Sontomaoyor were hideous. Let's not have a double standard. here. Racism is racism. Period. It goes both ways.

Posted by: ChrisStewart - In the past year, we have seen Obama and Sotomayor rise to power. In both instances, comments in the Wa. Post forums were hideously racist.

It is disappointing. Really disappointing

Posted by: LAGringo | June 1, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Let's say you're a young black man defending yourself on charges of 1st degree murder resulting from a shooting incident of an unarmed middle aged white man. You're claiming self-defense.

While your attorney is engaged with selecting jurors for the trial, a white man states, "I would hope that a wise white man with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a black male who hasn't lived that life."

You later learn about this statement and find that your attorney did not ask the judge to disqualify this man from the jury. Additionally, you find that there were 8 other people of different ethnicities and races that said essentially the same thing about them hoping that they could reach a better conclusion than a black man could, all of whom were selected to serve on your jury.

Would you accept this without protesting?

If not, what would base your argument on?

Posted by: VaPatriot | June 1, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

On highly contentious subjects like the New Haven case and the Sotormayor nomination, I don't even bother to look at the comments. What is the point of reading rants by people who aren't familiar with the facts, don't know the law, and don't care about anything but their own previously established beliefs? I get a lot more information and insight from reading comments respondingto articles about the Washington Capitals.

Posted by: phillyreader | June 1, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

In the past year, we have seen Obama and Sotomayor rise to power. In both instances, comments in the Wa. Post forums were hideously racist.

It is disappointing. Really disappointing.

Posted by: ChrisStewart | June 1, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The woman is an open RACIST "LA RAZA" member and has poor judicial record with the majority of her judgments being over turned.

Both Dem's and Rep's should be demanding a new nominee.

Old Racism is bad and New Racism is still bad.

Posted by: HernandezUSA | June 1, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Sontomayor definitely made racist comments. That fact is indisputable. Does that make her a racist? Looks like a duck to me.........

Posted by: LAGringo | June 1, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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