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Sotomayor's Deliberate Choice of Words

Nice try, Mr. President, but I’m not buying the poor-choice-of-words defense for Sonia Sotomayor. “I’m sure she would have restated it,” President Obama told NBC News about his Supreme Court nominee’s now-famous 32 words: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." Said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, "I think she'd say that her word choice in 2001 was poor.”

You spin the speech that’s dealt you. But it seems clear to me that Sotomayor, to quote that great jurist Dr. Seuss, meant what she said and said what she meant. This was no throwaway line or off-the-cuff linguistic stumble along the lines of the judge’s other controversial comment about appeals courts making policy.

Rather, Sotomayor was deliberately and directly disputing remarks by then-Justice Sandra Day O’Connor that a wise old woman and a wise old man would eventually reach the same conclusion in a case. “I am…not so sure that I agree with the statement,” Sotomayor said. Moreover, if Sotomayor regretted that YouTube moment, she had the chance to revise and extend: Her remarks were reprinted in the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal. Knowing the multi-layered editing process of law journals, I’d be shocked if Sotomayor did not at least have the chance to review the transcript of her speech and make any tweaks.

My rejection of the spin, by the way, doesn’t mean I think this is anywhere near sufficient grounds to reject the nominee. The totality of the speech shows Sotomayor wrestling intelligently with the influences of race and gender on judging. But I believe she knew exactly what she was saying back then — even if it now takes some fancy spinning to undo now.

By Ruth Marcus  | May 30, 2009; 11:47 AM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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Comments

I sincerely hope that She does NOT back away from her statement. If she were to actually NOT think that " a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." I wouldn't want Her on MY Supreme Court. What would the pundits say then? That she has no confidence? That she believed that white males would actually come to a better conclusion??
Why should she have to defend that statement. It is, to me, a perfectly logical and accurate thought. Do we want another Clarence Thomas on the bench? A follower of those white males? I am so sorry that the President has chosen to hide from this. He and She must loudly proclaim that she meant exactly that! Hooray for Her!! She may be wrong, perhaps more often than not those white males on the court will come to a better conclusion. That is NOT the point. The poin IS, should she feel confident in her ability to judge? I think she should.

Posted by: jrmart66 | May 30, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

jrmart66: interesting perspective . . . .

In your world, the Court's internal debates would go like this:

THOMAS: I'm a quiet but internally raging black man who was raised in extreme poverty, so I think I'm right.

SCALIA: I'm a self-righteous, wise-ass Italian-American Catholic, so I think I'm right.

STEVENS: I'm older than dirt and don't even remember who I am, but still I think I'm right.

GINSBURG: I'm an ugly little insect of a woman, but smart as a whip so I think I'm right.

Etc.

The point is that Sotomayor should feel confident, but because she is smart and experienced, not because she is a Hispanic woman. Otherwise it becomes a competition between backgrounds rather than an intellectual debate.

(FWIW, I think she should be confirmed.)

Posted by: Compared2What | May 31, 2009 3:21 AM | Report abuse

Compared2what thanks for crushing jrmart66's pimple of a brain in your succinct analysis...funny how the left advances the racist agenda and racists while accusing the right of doing so....the double standard in play here is shocking...Can you imagine the outrage if a Republican nominee had said what BlotoMinor did ?

Posted by: dalelama | May 31, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Thirty two words out of the thousands that she spoke or wrote in her time on the Federal bench. Is that what her opponents are counting on? If that is it, then they have a long way to go. She has been vilified by the right because she spoke 32 words about eight or nine years ago? That is so 1990's!
Republicans have long memories when it comes to those that they oppose. They are still trying to get Robert Bork appointed to the Supreme Court, heck Harold Carswell and Clement Haynesworth, whose questionable ties to racist institutions made them unfit to sit on the highest court in the land.

Posted by: napatomed | May 31, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I don't buy your spin of the spin Ruth.

I guess you need attention, which you will get by posting your 'ever so treasured' opinion, of whatever spin you aren't buying.

I assume you bought the spin on the Iraq War.

Posted by: zcaley | May 31, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

i assure you jrmart that she will not defend her statement. its a ridicules and fully indefensible statement worthy of a fool. she will not be as foolish as you and try to defend it.

Posted by: wpace81196 | May 31, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Sotomayor will be confirmed so the issue is not whether her "white male" comment will keep her off the court. The issue is whether it was a racist comment. It was. Racism starts with stereotyping. "Black people are this way..." "Latinos are this and that..." "White people do so and so..."

As a white male, I resent Sotomayor's stereotype of white males as a homogeneous group that is incapable of judging fairly in a culturally diverse society. If this nation is to grow up, it must apply the same rules to everyone. Racism is racism no matter who utters the words. Sotomayor has an issue with racism. She should be called out on it, just as anyone else should be. Fair is fair.

Posted by: chris_zz | May 31, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I applaud Ruth Marcus for acknowledging the obvious -- that Sotomayor meant exactly what she said, despite the White House spin. Unfortunately, Sotomayor's devotion to identity politics, while making her the perfect choice for a party obsessed with it because of its dependence on categorizing and dividing the electorate, makes her totally unreliable in deciding cases based on the actual law. Of course, that is precisely what Obama seeks, since he has scant regard for the rule of law himself.

Posted by: MaryMc1 | May 31, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Ruth on this one. This is not the first time that president Obama [whom incidentally I supported with money and time and still do] has used the inartfull words defense when the language that comes out is a little grating to the ears. Remember Attorney General Eric Holder's remarks " when it comes to race often we are a nation of cowards " was that inartfull or a poor choice of words. Perhaps the Attorney General would use a different word other than "coward" if he had to rephrase his remarks.Maybe not, after all "words do matter" [remember the campaign]Now back to judge Sotomayor's remarks in her Berkeley speech. One would certainly hope that as a Latina female she brings her experiences differently to the bench than a white male. For example Chief Justice Roberts used the baseball analogy to explain his views on impartiality " I call them as I see them balls or strikes". Unfortunately his balls and strikes calls have thus far been heavily favored towards the priviledged and those in power. Sometimes in life you have to man up or woman up in this case to what you say. I'm sure Judge Sotomayor being the Princeton and Yale educated scholar that she is will be more than capable of explaining those remarks and others in the confirmation hearings. as they say in the "hood" yeah I said it and I meant it.

Posted by: edhenson | May 31, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Will Sotomayor turn out to be the GOP's gift, just as Souter was the Democrats gift?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=5398


.

Posted by: usadblake | May 31, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely! Otherwise why appoint her. Look, it is just like when the southern preachers warned us about Elvis back in the day--that he would bring dancing and swinging hips out of the Negro section and right into our towns--that he would change everything--and he did. The rise of woman will lead to the fall of man, again. Justice Alito did all he could to stop it back in Princeton but there she was: the Summa. The GOP is going to suck wind for forty years before it goes the way of Whigs, the Federalists and the Know Nothings.

Posted by: ff1623 | May 31, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Obama is giving the country too much sugar when what we need is to calm the waters - good reasoned policy. The most worrisome part of this intelligent and accomplished woman nominee is not her racialism but her temperament. Contrast her to Obama's most successful cabinet officer to date - Gates.

Posted by: jakeo53 | May 31, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"A white male, given the track record of technological inventions, would be a superior engineer in comparison to a male of color"...

If that works for you...then so does Sotomayor!

Posted by: georgedixon1 | May 31, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

What she said is what she meant: this is her core philosophy and will guide her "judical decisions" if confirmed. The Obama twist is just more of the typical blather which this confirmed liar has brought to Washington from Chicago. By the way, the only thing which could have made Washington politics worse, was mixing in Chi-town politics.

Posted by: Reisrrk | May 31, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

A great deal of energy on this nominee, but, for all of us who have been around for many years (86 in my case), we know exactly the routine . ..a lot of rah, rah, rah, boom,boom, you are confirmed. Thank you m'am. We wish you well. They tore Mr. Miquel Estrada up, but, my bet on this nominee, it will be like a "date in NYC".

Good week and blessings on this Pentecost Sunday.

Posted by: fatherjoseph | May 31, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

May all Sotomayor supporters have sons and daughters who get into big lawsuits with Latino boys and girls, and may it get to the Supreme Court and may Sotomayor have the swing vote.

Car crash, civil dispute, criminal matter, I don't care, I just want all of you to understand the real meaning of racial identity and loyalty.

Oh dear, now I feel sorry for your poor kids, so I'll change my curse. May you get a little bit careless and have a car crash with a Latino, and may your insurer deny coverage because Obama did not pay your premium and may the case likewise move to the Supreme Court.

Posted by: BlacquesJacquesShellacques | May 31, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I watched several matched pairs of Democratic and Republican Senators on the Sunday morning talk shows agreeing to be fair and reasonable. It strikes me that the notion Sotomayor will be rejected is a straw-man excuse for adolescent Democrats to excoriate grown-up Republicans. Puts me in mind of the moral of the fable of the frog and the scorpion - it's just who they are.

Posted by: Jambon | May 31, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

THE HEART OF THE ISSUE IS O'CONNORS WORDS,
"...a wise old woman and a wise old man would eventually reach the same conclusion in a case.", and SOTOMAYOR'S "I am…not so sure that I agree with the statement,” .

You either agree that "Justice is blind" or not. If one doesn't the person should not be a judge.

Posted by: jgm7975 | May 31, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

This choice defines Obama not as a moderate or even a liberal but as an elitist radical who wants to make up the rules as he goes along. This is what all you Democrats have been voting for all these years, reverse racism and Marxist economics. A tiny class of over-educated dopes, all with degrees from the same few universities and precious little experience outside academe and government, are now prepared to inflict their crackpot social engineering schemes on a brain-dead nation that has been foolish enough to hand them total power. Put Sonia Sockmonster on the court. What difference does it make? Anybody he picks is going to ignore the constitution just like every other liberal pick. If a legislative cockroach like 'Schmucky' Schumer is behind her she has to have a rotten soul, but who cares?

Posted by: skep41 | May 31, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

>>>>>>Rather, Sotomayor was deliberately and directly disputing remarks by then-Justice Sandra Day O’Connor that a wise old woman and a wise old man would eventually reach the same conclusion in a case. “I am…not so sure that I agree with the statement,” Sotomayor said.

Exactly! But MOST of the media spins her comment as similar to other USSC nominees --that their background influences their decisions. No surprise there.
But NONE of them - except Sotomayor - claimed their background would result in a BETTER conclusion than a jurist with a differing background!!

Humility is not one of Sotomayor's character traits. Rather, she's an egomaniac. High on herself.

Posted by: angie12106 | May 31, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Sotomayor the gift that keeps on giving... for Republicans! I hope she is endorsed by a partisan Democratic vote and I hope that during our stand against her we Republicans never forget that the meaning of the judge-made "right to privacy" does not trump the First Amendment. Yes it is all but certain we will lose this battle, but we must never forget that when identity politics defeats competence it is not long before identity politics and its evil twin "empathy" will also defeat freedom of speech. Remember the Alamo! Remember Pearl Harbor! And most of all fellow Republicans: Remember the Sotomayor!

Posted by: jdcarmine | May 31, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

This raises many questions about Judge Sotomayer. If she did not mean to say what she said, then her communication skills are lacking. This is an important trait for a judge, communicating is a large portion of the job. If she did not mean what she said it at least had to on her mind. I can't see someone making such a harsh statement and not meaning it. Beyond this issue is the New Haven Firefighters Discrimination case which see did not handle well. What possibly could have been her logic in this case. She may be overturned as a result. A NY Times Editorial remarks that her involvement in important cases is sparse. What do we really know about other than she may harbor prejudice. I can't believe there is not a Latino Female Judge that does not have her handicaps. Why Her? I'm sure her confirmation vetting will be interesting if Senators do their job.

Posted by: rrdn96 | May 31, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

If Senate Dems had really wanted a Latino on the Court - they would have confirmed Estrada.
Dems only want Sotomayor in order to garner more Hispanic votes.
This Dem family for 40 years, now Repub, can see through the Dems' scam.

Posted by: angie12106 | May 31, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh this is not even one of the big reasons to oppose her. What about the ammount of times she's been reversed by the supreme court, good judges make the right decisions to the law and she's been overturned numerous times. The reason she should be disqualifed is after her remark at Berkley where she said "the court is where policy is made". You don't need any other reason than that to say she is unfit for this job.

Posted by: jra80 | May 31, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I think it's so funny how short progressive/liberals memories are. They wouldn't even let Miguel Estrada come up for a vote for a district judge, but we need to rush through this woman and not even discuss her merits and radical biases?

Posted by: jra80 | May 31, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

georgedixon:

As a white male engineer who has worked with extremely talanted engineers who are black, Latino, female, and Asian-american, I find your point to be right on target.

However, I think people need to cut Sotomayor some slack- everyone makes thoughtless comments at times.

However, it is deeply disturbing that there is anyone that is actually DEFENDING Sotomeyor's comment.

For God's sake, even Obama recognized that it was not a statement that could or should be defended.

Posted by: bot_feeder | May 31, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I think we all know that our life experiences is very important to how we think. A woman is different thinking then a man. A black person from a white. A upper class private school graduate from a public school person.
That is a given.
The second idea of whether one has a better perspective on the law then another is debatable. I think it would be true that a hispanic woman will have a different view on womens rights,affirmative action , health care etc. then a older white male form a different background. The bottom line is we are a nation of different people and we need this perspective on the Supreme court. For years both parties have tried to "load" the court with people they hope will see the law as they do.

Posted by: ephetsgma | May 31, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

A poster marveled: "Republicans have long memories when it comes to those that they oppose."

So what did you expect from people who chose the elephant as its mascot? Republicans have long memories period, especially for things they revere such as our nation's founding principles as declared in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution among hundreds of other documents.

And what is it the donkey is most noted for? It's pointed ears, braying mouth, or its behind? It's interesting to hear Obama described the Bill of Rights as a negative document, because it tells the government what it cannot do to us. How old-fashioned that notion of individual freedom seems to most progressives. What jackarses they truly are!

And no this post isn't off-topic since we're evaluating a Scotus nominee whose primary job if confirmed will be to interpret the Constitution either as written or according to her imagination as to how it should have been written if there had been a wise Latina woman among the Founding Fathers.

Posted by: Bytheway | May 31, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

bot_feeder said
For God's sake, even Obama recognized that it was not a statement that could or should be defended.

________________

Good Lord man. Obama's chief spokesmouth is defending her. Do you think he would go off the reservation? Of course Obama is defending her. Tune in.

Posted by: bandmom22 | May 31, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I just wonder where she gets the evidence to support her claim that a hispanic woman would make better decisions than a white male. If you look at the results of amlost all standardized test, you will find that blacks and hispanics universally score lower than white and asian peoples. So, wouldn't that mean that blacks and hispanics will, more often than not, make worse conclusions than white or asian judges ? To all you Sotomayor supporters, was this a racist post ?

Posted by: dqzy123 | May 31, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Of all the stupid defenses of Judge S's , in my opinion indefensible. statements, the stupidest is "It's only 32 words!" She said a lot more words than that in her life! Why pick this 32? So 1990's" It's not the number of the words- IT"S WHAT SHE SAID-THE CONTENT. One statement can be a disqualifier- ie, Larry Summers and the girls-aren't-good-at-math sentence. And Bill Clinton getting nailed to the wall over his Jesse Jackson/Obama statement after the S. Carolina primary- I didn't hear anybody giving him a pass, with- it's only 30 words! or whatever. So get real- you can't think of a rational defense for her words because there isn't one- stop the "snippet", "cherry-picking", "out of context" pathetic excuses...add to that POTUS- "poor choice of words"- right, like its just semantics.

Posted by: scribe15 | May 31, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm a feminist but I'm offended by Sotomayor's flippant, thoughtless comment. I'm enthusiastic about her nomination but I'm looking for some maturity in her temperament.

Posted by: alto1215 | May 31, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I think SS will be confirmed, keeping a leftist element alive among the Justices.

I find far more interesting the Lefts' take on this. In this morning's news shows, Schumer stoutly defended the indefensible, the Lefts' character assasination of Estrada, also a Latino. Schumer claimed that Estrada refused to talk about his positions, which is not true, Schumer is lying. Estrada refused to release his private notes on his cases. No judge has ever been required to release his private notes, and the Democrats knew this. By pretending that there might be unacceptable ideas expressed in Estrada's private notes, the Democrats put Estrada in an unacceptable bind, to release private notes and create an untenable precedent or to let the Dems indefinitely delay his confirmation, which is what happened.

The problem was that Estrada was a distinguished jurist with a brilliant future who could have made major contributions to the law, which was why the Dems opposed him. Democrats are balls out to dumb down the law, just as they have dumbed down education and have dumbed down the practice of journalism. Whatever else SS is or does, she will, at best, occupy a seat on SCOTUS.

Schumer claimed that SS's sentence about the "wise Latina woman" was taken out of context, but here again Schumer is lying. If you read Sotomayor's whole piece, SS looks even worse than the stand-alone sentence under discussion. SS was not saying she could make a valuable contribution in a legal discussion, she explicitly said she would make better judgements than "a white male."

So the real question is not the future of Judge Sotomayor, but the future of the Republic when unprincipled principal Democrats routinely lie to gain their Marxist political objectives.

Posted by: Iago22 | May 31, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I think it's very obvious how Ms. Sotomayor feels...she's superior because she's a Hispanic woman at making decisions that will support her gender and ethnicity. Just the fact that she said it speaks volumes about her as a person. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama's team wasn't looking for an intelligent, fair-minded jurist..they were looking for a Hispanic woman and they were confident that by accusing the Republicans of racism, they could seat this woman no matter what the criticism, just as Mr. Obama beat off criticism during the presidential campaign...thanks, of course, to the east coast media.

Ms. Sotomayor may very well be seated but that is not a good thing for Mr. Obama. He has shown once again how inept he is...and we're only into the 5th month of his presidency. Help!

Posted by: William18 | May 31, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

It is Obama's attempt to contradict the statment that is interesting. Of course she meant what she said. The woman is a lawyer. Lawyers say what they mean; she is a summa and therefore not an impulive person and she graduated Yale (even with affirmative action policies, still a good achievement). She meant it.

Why is Obama now making her out a liar and denying the importance of race when it has been so important in his own choices, religious affiliations, and appointments.

There is a question of integrity here, and it isn't the nominee's.

Posted by: notassmartasyou | May 31, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Either race and gender are off limits as insults or they are not. I'm surprised that so many Democrats would try to defend a statement like this.

Posted by: AndreainNY | May 31, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to a lively set of confirmation hearings and wonder in Sonia will get borked or get a pass.

As usual these hearings tell a great deal about the questioners and their own prejudices.

Let the self immolations and vivisection begin!

Posted by: craigpurcell | May 31, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

No issue more succinctly illustrates the difference between liberals and conservatives.
Liberals seek power by appealing to "feelings" of resentment and victimization, which they whip up every chance they get. Liberals seek to divide the electorate into as many victim groups as possible and play them against the designated "oppressor" classes.
Conservatives seek power by appealing to the reason and common sense inherent (but not always activate) in every individual, and by arguing that the individual choice to lead a reasoned and rational life (or not) far outweighs any and all influences of race, sex, class or ethnicity.

Posted by: Parker1227 | May 31, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

What deep irony that most so-called "liberal" leaders are totally addicted to race/class/gender baiting as a means to power, while most conservatives honor Martin Luther King's admonition to honor personal character over outward appearance and ethnicity.
The sanctimonious left has climbed up so high on its own flimsy pedestal, that it has become disconnected from simple reason and all notions of personal shame and responsibility.

Posted by: Parker1227 | May 31, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Can you spell racism? Would Sotomayor ever think that a white person could be discriminated against or isn't that part of her 'empathetic" approach.

This is not about her ethnic identity it is about a judge who is not worthy to go on the court !!!

Posted by: peteinny | May 31, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine what would have happened if Roberts had said the following: "I would hope that a working white male with the richness of my experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a black or latino.

Just because she's a minority, she gets a free pass on racism?

Posted by: russellburgett | May 31, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the Affirmative Action Supreme Court where empathy has a higher priority than the rule of law...

"So, you robbed a white business owner because you are poor?"

"yes your honor"

"Case dismissed"

Posted by: russellburgett | May 31, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

As a Republican, I am less exercised about her supposed racist comments than her lack of commentary on the Ricci v. Destefano case.

Let’s get real… speaking to a group of mostly female lawyers she said “I would hope that…” She did not say that… “it is my belief that Hispanic women are intellectually superior to White men…” What she was saying was a challenge to this group and not some assertion.

Besides… this is a distraction… what are her decisions on the bench. I suspect that her WH handlers are tossing this stuff out specifically so she can gather her thoughts on defending her resounding brevity on the reverse discrimination case. Call me a suspicious GOPer, but I think the White House and Sotomayor herself would rather bait the media and the public with a salacious “racism” debate rather than to focus on her ruling that supported discrimination of firefighters based on the color of their skin… the ever-unpopular lighter shade of pale.

Lets drop this non-starter and go after the heart of it… what is her legal philosophy, how does she rule on the bench… how has she ruled on the bench… and why she and her fellow judges thought that a 23 word opinion would suffice for what was probably the most important Constitutional question that has ever come before her.

Anyhoo, unless we find that she is some sort of mass-murderer, she’s gonna be the next SCOTUS Justice, so we might as well debate something maningful rather than this silliness!

Posted by: poopiepants | May 31, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Correcton on my previous post... the 2nd Circuit opinion was not 23 words, but it was brief nontheless. Here it is:

We affirm, for the reasons stated in the thorough, thoughtful, and well-reasoned opinion of the court below. Ricci v. DeStefano, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73277, 2006 WL 2828419 (D. Conn., Sept. 28, 2006). In this case, the Civil Service Board found itself in the unfortunate position of having no good alternatives. We are not unsympathetic to the plaintiffs' expression of frustration. Mr. Ricci, for example, who is dyslexic, made intensive efforts that appear to have resulted in his scoring highly on one of the exams, only to have it invalidated. But it simply does not follow that he has a viable Title VII claim. To the contrary, because the Board, in refusing to validate the exams, was simply trying to fulfill its obligations under Title VII when confronted with test results that had a disproportionate racial impact, its actions were protected.

Posted by: poopiepants | May 31, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Justice, especially at the Supreme Court level, needs to come from the BRAIN, not the heart. The experience of a Latina woman don't matter at ALL. What matters is a technical, boring analysis of the words of the US Constitution. What matters is whether the law being considered by SCOTUS violates the conditions set by that document. PERIOD. The place for "heart" and experience is in the legislature. If a law is "wrong", it's the legislature that must fix it.

If you think you want justices with LIFETIME appointments making judgments about YOUR life, consider that elections have consequences and the next President may nominate someone whose "experience" and subjective "empathy" you don't like so much at all.

Sotomayor is not fit to serve because she will have to lie when taking the oath of office in which she will have to swear that she will give the same IMPARTIAL consideration to rich and poor alike, to rule about the Constitutionality of the law, not MAKE law.

Posted by: caligulous | May 31, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be a lot of outrage here by white males. What I find interesting is that the outrage is virtually identical in spirit and content. Like you all get your talking points from angrywhiteman.com.

Sotomayor is a racist (but not Pat Buchanan, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, etc.) The GOP does appear to be the party of angry white males. And Cheney is your king.

Posted by: PinkToeNails1 | May 31, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like this is Ruth's last day at the Post. Killed by liberal hypocracy.

Posted by: combat18 | May 31, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

National Council of La Raza. Enough said.

Posted by: jcrue | May 31, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Jimmie the Greek
Earl Butz
Michael Richards

Explain to me why Sotomayor deserves a pass and these people do not.

Posted by: pabarge | May 31, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

By promoting the vicious racist Sadomaso, Obama is signaling a wider race war against European-Americans, who need to arm themselves immediately. Obama's genocide is only just beginning, but it can still be stopped, if European-americans have the will to live.

Posted by: doctorfixit | May 31, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Judge Sotomayor is well prepared to sit on the Supreme Court, and should be approved by the Senate. She has a wonderful life story, rising by her own merit to the position she is in today.

But Sandra Day O'Connor had it right - two wise persons should be able to reach the same conclusion, irrespective of where they came from and of their life experience.

And yes, conservatives, that means women have a right to choose, and that gay marriage is a civil right.

Posted by: iubica2 | May 31, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Here' what I would do if I were on the judiciary committe: give her a list of people (Latina, gay asian male, bi-black female, straight white guy, etc etc etc.) and ask her to rank them top to bottom by 'judicial wisdom'.

Posted by: timmy024 | May 31, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I sincerely hope that She does NOT back away from her statement. If she were to actually NOT think that " a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." I wouldn't want Her on MY Supreme Court. What would the pundits say then? That she has no confidence? That she believed that white males would actually come to a better conclusion??
Why should she have to defend that statement. It is, to me, a perfectly logical and accurate thought. Do we want another Clarence Thomas on the bench? A follower of those white males? I am so sorry that the President has chosen to hide from this. He and She must loudly proclaim that she meant exactly that! Hooray for Her!! She may be wrong, perhaps more often than not those white males on the court will come to a better conclusion. That is NOT the point. The poin IS, should she feel confident in her ability to judge? I think she should.
**********

oh my god

when, exactly, did it become OK to judge people's qualifcations to arrive at a decesion based on their race?

she must be borked

Posted by: dummypants | May 31, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please tell me what is so special about a "Latina". What is the difference between a Latina or an Italian woman or a Polish woman or whatever? My father's personal story makes her's sound the the "Princess and the Pea".

Posted by: rfpzzzzz | May 31, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

jrmart6:

Your reasoning is fuzzy to say the least.

Posted by: sombreropoint38 | May 31, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who can't see how ridiculous Sotomayor's statement/s is/are may need to take out an ad for some missing marbles.

Posted by: yourstruly1991 | May 31, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

As it so often the case, her sentence taken out of its context totally misses the point which she was trying to make.

The Supreme Court *has* in fact made many bad decisions in the past based on sexist, racist, homophobic or otherwise discriminatory thinking of the past. If the Court had not been the exclusive preserve of straight white men, it is likely that their decisions would have been different. Isn't this saying the obvious?

As an aside, Latino/Hispanic refers to ethnicity, not race. Latinos may be of any race or racial mixture. Thus, even if we wanted to pursue the red herring word "racist" being tossed around by the Right, it is not, strictly speaking, the right word.

Posted by: PaulG2 | June 1, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Scott P. Roeder, 51, of Merriam, was arrested on Interstate 35 near Gardner nearly four hours after Tiller was shot to death just after 10 a.m. in the lobby of Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita. Roeder was a member of an anti-government group in the 1990s and a staunch abortion opponent.
-----------------

Obama said in a statement, "However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence."
-------------------

Is this action surprising to anyone when the "radical right" continuously blame President Barack Obama for this practice, be it on FOXNEWS CABLE with Sean Hannity's America, Glenn Beck preaching the hate.

And others like... Ann Coulter, Michelle Bachmann, Michael Steele, Sarah Palin, Mike Huchabee and Churches has commented on this practice with villianizing rhetoric. Does the discussion have to end with violence?

Hannity, Steele, Bachmann, Limbaugh, Beck, Palin even Newt, Cheney and the GOP should step foward calling this act senseless.

All should publically advocate peaceful non-violent solutions, ASAP.

Posted by: opp88 | June 1, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Her Berkely comments denigrating white male jurists and praising her own ethnic and gender superiority is just another slip down the slippery slope of identity politics and the arbitrary division of America away from its motto of "E Pluribus Unum"--"out of many-one". It is right up there in degree of harm with the misapplication of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Protecting the rights of visible minorities to vote and hold elective office
was laudable. In a democratic and free society it is vital for all people to believe that they have a fair chance at success. Seeing fellow minorities in positions of value in society (teachers, police, firefighters, the military, and elected office) is empowering and contributes to both the real and perceived
notions of a fair and just society. However, by the federal mandate (forever?) of "majority-minority" congressional or legislative districts, the assumption, usually unchallenged, is that "only someone who looks like me can represent me". This assumption flies in the face of our American founding principles that anyone can and should represent her constituents without regard to race, ethnicity, or gender. Maybe in the first years of the Voting Rights Act (1966-1980 or 1990), those race based districts made sense to establish minority politicians and to see that they were exactly like other politicians (some good, some bad, some corrupt, and some decent effective representatives). It seems to me now that all elective districts should be drawn by impartial criteria and that white and minority candidates campaign fairly on who meets the needs of their constituents. As a white male, I am perfectly happy having a black President just as I await a woman President soon. I care about what the believe and will do as opposed to how they look.

Posted by: felix335 | June 1, 2009 5:21 AM | Report abuse

Where's the empathy for Ricci?

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | June 1, 2009 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Some say the quote was out of context. In fact, the context makes the quote much worse as she goes into more depth on how race and gender are the source of her 'wise' decisions. Just more of the same from the racial injustice industry leaders like Sotomayor, Sharpton, Obama, and Jackson.

Posted by: roberth | June 1, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Ruth. Ms. Sotomayer's whole career is about carefully articulating exactly what she means.

As for the firefighter case, one must ask: "When an opportunity is presented, with a defined hurdle, such as a test, what applicant would take the task lightly? Don't we still reward hard work and the ambition that drives the desire?" The firefighters who passed the test had the rug pulled out from under them by a political minded racially motivated judge.

Would Sotomayor allow someone to discount her years of hard work to achieve the position she is in? No, she would defend it vigorously. Which means, good for Sotomayor, but not good for those firefighters. Some are more equal than others.

Posted by: 330treehugger | June 1, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I actually applaud Sotomayor for speaking her mind -- honesty is a refreshing quality for someone in the public eye. In the other video that's YouTubing its way around the Internet, where she talks about appellate courts making policy, she even stops and acknowledges what she's saying isn't politically correct (or even legally proper), and says it anyway.

She knows what she's saying and she knows when it isn't "correct." That has to tell you it's really her belief that she is better equipped to interpret the law than a "white guy." It may have been a poor choice in Obama's mind, but it was her choice.

And for that reason alone, she shouldn't be a judge, let alone a Justice of the Supreme Court.

Posted by: jsc173 | June 1, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Here's the oath she must take (yet again, she has taken it before for other Federal judgeships):
I do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the Constitution, and laws of the United States. So help me God

Who cares if the "do equal right" portion requires her to cross her fingers.

Posted by: the_node | June 1, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

But Ms. Marcus, you're not done! How can you tee up the question whether gender influences judging and then refuse to address that most salient of questions? I happen to think Justice O'Connor was absolutely self-delusional. Time and again, she broke with her conservative colleagues and voted in favor of gender equality and abortion rights. The fact that she was a woman was, at least in those cases, significant. Marcus is unfair to tee up the issue and then leave Sotomayor hanging out to dry.

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 1, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"However, I think people need to cut Sotomayor some slack- everyone makes thoughtless comments at times."

Sotomeyer was reading from prepared remarks. She also published the same in law review articles.

Two liberal justices at the same meeting vigorously disputed her assertions.

Posted by: davod1 | June 1, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

davod1. You say

"But Ms. Marcus, you're not done! How can you tee up the question whether gender influences judging and then refuse to address that most salient of questions? I happen to think Justice O'Connor was absolutely self-delusional. Time and again, she broke with her conservative colleagues and voted in favor of gender equality and abortion rights. The fact that she was a woman was, at least in those cases, significant. Marcus is unfair to tee up the issue and then leave Sotomayor hanging out to dry."

But Sotomayor takes an oath to be impartial. She is not there to be representative of her race, gender, religion,
or political ideology . No one expects her to be totally objective, but her oath says she will do her level best to put aside her prejudices, not take pride in them.

Posted by: RobbyS | June 1, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

davod1 wrote
"However, I think people need to cut Sotomayor some slack- everyone makes thoughtless comments at times."

___________________________________________

These are not just comments, this is a window showing her thinking that she has "superior insight" and that she is the more qualified Judge, because of her race, gender and richness of her experiences.

The duty of a Justice is to follow the intent of the constitution. If or when the intent is wrong then the process for correcting is through constitutional amendments and not from any activist judge. Her rich experiences are telling us that she is a activist, and should not sit on the court.

Posted by: donnal1 | June 1, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

For example Chief Justice Roberts used the baseball analogy to explain his views on impartiality " I call them as I see them balls or strikes". Unfortunately his balls and strikes calls have thus far been heavily favored towards the priviledged and those in power
------
And every baseball fan knows that not every umpire has the same strike zone. Very few are the umpires who call strikes as defined in the rules of baseball.

Posted by: baltimoremom | June 1, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Political backlash expected from Tiller’s shooting

By DAVID KLEPPER
The Star’s Topeka correspondent

Orlin Wagner
At a vigil Sunday for George Tiller at Old Town Square in Wichita, Sarah Anderson took photos of the event. Tiller died in a shooting at his church earlier in the day.

Breaking News

George Tiller shooting in custody in Johnson CountyWichita abortion provider George Tiller shot to death at Wichita churchGeorgia sends MU home from softball series

WICHITA | The bullet that killed George Tiller on Sunday did what lawmakers, prosecutors and grassroots activists never could: end the career of the nation’s most prominent abortion provider.

Posted by: opp88 | June 1, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

dude just aint right... no matter how you look at it!
----------------------------
Yesterday on his radio show, conservative host G. Gordon Liddy continued the right wing’s all-out assault on Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

First, just like Tom Tancredo, Liddy slammed Sotomayor’s affiliation with the civil rights group La Raza — and referred to the Spanish language as “illegal alien“:

LIDDY: I understand that they found out today that Miss Sotomayor is a member of La Raza, which means in illegal alien, “the race.”

And that should not surprise anyone because she’s already on record with a number of racist comments.

Finished with the race-based attack, Liddy moved on to denigrate Sotomayor’s gender:

LIDDY: ((((((Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate.)))))))) That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then.

Finally, Liddy disputed the entire idea that there’s anything wrong with the paucity of women and total lack of Hispanics on the Court:

LIDDY: And everybody is cheering because Hispanics and females have been, quote, underrepresented, unquote.

And as you pointed out, which I thought was quite insightful, the Supreme Court is not designed to be and should not be a representative body.

Posted by: opp88 | June 1, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of gender or ethnicity, Sotomayor is more qualified, experienced, and better educated than the majority of current supreme court judges. Beyond that, Obama once again plays republicans like an old fiddle. The low class gang of republicans (Limbaugh, Gingrich, et al) go on record as the bigots they truly are. Add Latinos as another voting block solidified under the Democratic party banner. A couple more western states will shift the Dems way and the republicans are further marginalized to the deepest corners of the old (racist) south.

Posted by: JacksonGA | June 1, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele Asks That Republicans Stop Being Such Racist Dickwads About Sotomayor.

Michael Steele, the actual elected-by-his-peers (barely) leader of the Republican Party, continues to have this problem with fat unelected sociopaths such as Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich loudly and boorishly pushing the GOP into forever-fringe third-party nutland.

For example, the turds are currently doing the usual fat-white-racist-republican deal of yelling “racist!” at someone who is a different race.

Posted by: opp88 | June 1, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

this is what gets me... white racist people calling others racist. I don't get that one bit. other then they "fat-white-racist-republican" expects everyone to believe that lie. that a minority can be a racist. but, I guess it takes a racist to know a racist?
-----------------------

For example, the turds are currently doing the usual fat-white-racist-republican deal of yelling “racist!” at someone who is a different race.

Posted by: opp88 | June 1, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele calls for obedience.

They used to just yell the various racial epithets, but now they have developed this bizarre tactic of instead yelling “racist!” It is, of course, insane. And hapless Michael Steele would like them to stop, because, duh, only 21% of Americans currently identify themselves as Republicans, and as this awful s.h.i.t continues, it’s going to be 15% and then 10% and pretty soon they’ll just be a dumber, fatter version of Le Pen’s racist fringe party in France, just so crazy proud when they have a big year and get 20 seats in Congress.

Steele was guest-hosting Bill Bennett’s talk-radio show today — apparently Bill Bennett has a wingnut talk-radio show, too — and used his patented fake-sounding hip-hop talk to warn Limbaugh & Co. to stop presenting the Republican philosophy (racism) so honestly:

“I’m excited that a Hispanic woman is in this position,”

(((((((Steele said. He added that instead of “slammin’ and rammin’” on Sotomayor))))

, Republicans should “acknowledge” the “historic aspect” of the pick and make a “cogent, articulate argument” against her for purely substantive reasons.

Steele warned that because of the attacks, “we get painted as a party that’s against the first Hispanic woman” picked for the Supreme Court.

Yes, that happens when the only people left in your party are mouth-breathing crap-bags whose entire opposition comes down to psychopathic hatred of the colored people with the edumacations.

Posted by: opp88 | June 1, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

MISS CALIFORNIA WHITE BEAUTY CARRIE PREJEAN
QUOTE... "THIS SHOULDN'T HAPPEN IN AMERICA"

DID NEWT, LIMBAUGH, HANNITY, TANCREDO, LIDDY ANYONE CALL HER A RACIST?

So it goes with Tom Tancredo, the former congressman from Colorado who might not even be a factor in the current debate over federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court if he hadn't sought the Republican Party's presidential nomination last year as an outspoken critic of illegal immigration - and if he hadn't also denounced the National Council of La Raza, one of the nation's oldest Hispanic advocacy groups, as a "Latino KKK without the hoods.''
---------------------------

Rush Limbaugh, following a trend of conservatives depicting Sonia Sotomayor as a dangerous racist, suggested that President Obama's Supreme Court nomination had set back civil rights progress and compared Sotomayor to David Duke.
----------------------
INSULTS CONTINUE TO ROLL IN....

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) on Wednesday charged that Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a "racist."

"Imagine a judicial nominee said 'my experience as a white man makes me better than a Latina woman.' Wouldn't they have to withdraw? New racism is no better than old racism," Gingrich wrote in a post on his blog.

"A white man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw," he added.

Gingrich was referring to a comment Sotomayor made during remarks at the University of California, Berkeley's annual Judge Mario G. Olmos Law and Cultural Diversity Lecture.


Posted by: opp88 | June 1, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

MISS CALIFORNIA WHITE BEAUTY CARRIE PREJEAN
QUOTE... "THIS SHOULDN'T HAPPEN IN AMERICA"

DID NEWT, LIMBAUGH, HANNITY, TANCREDO, LIDDY ANYONE CALL HER A RACIST?

THE FUNNY THING ABOUT "THE PREJEAN NATIONAL SECURTY CONCERN" WAS...

SEAN HANNITY, GINGRICH AND LIMBAUGH WERE TRIPPING ALL OVER THEMSELVES TRYING TO GO SAVE PREJEAN FROM THE LIBERAL MEDIA... wink wink!

you can tell by the Hannity/Prejean interview... Hannity's mind was not on the LIBERAL MEDIA...hahahahahahahahaha, if you get my drift?

Posted by: opp88 | June 1, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The most important words of her statement are "that life," which no one has focused on. By "that life," did she mean that a Latina could better make a decision on someone who is of Latino/a heritage? (If so, is that really so illogical?) That's the question she should be asked at confirmation hearings. As a conservative, I think but she should be allowed to explain herself and, baring some unforeseen circumstance, she should be confirmed based upon her qualifications.

However, after the confirmation, a more important discussion should take place regarding race and ethnicity: Specifically, all sides and all shades, should be less sensitive about open, honest discussions on race. This case has brought out the fact that the Left feels it has the moral authority to speak about race and it isn't comfortable about allowing Conservatives to voice their feelings, frustrations and hopes about racial issues. That has to change or, despite the Obama election, we can't move forward on the issue of race. Part of a more open dialogue on race involves more open minded thinking and being less tethered to old, worn out paradigms.

Posted by: natsfan | June 1, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

THIS IS THE CASE IN A NUT SHELL... NO PUN INTENDED...

Employment discrimination

Sotomayor was a member of a Second Circuit panel in a high-profile case[specify] that upheld without significant comment a lower court decision backing the right of the City of New Haven to throw out its promotional test for firefighters and start over with a new test, because the City believed the test had a "disparate impact" on minority firefighters and it might therefore be subject to a lawsuit from minority firefighters under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 if it certified the test results. (No black firefighters qualified for promotion under the test, whereas some had qualified under tests used in previous years.) Several white firefighters who had passed the test, including the lead plaintiff who has dyslexia and had put much extra effort into studying, sued the City of New Haven, claiming that their rights were violated because the test was thrown out. After an appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case April 2009 by as Ricci v. DeStefano, and a ruling has not yet been issued.

Posted by: opp88 | June 1, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

HERE'S THE LAW IN A NUT SHELL... Ricci case. THE ARGUMENT!

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it illegal for an employer to hire, fire, or promote workers based on race or skin color.

The law also authorizes victims of discrimination to sue an employer if a promotion test exerts a disparate impact on minority workers.

Mr. Meade says that rather than discriminating against the top scorers in the test, the city merely took action to avoid a potential violation of the disparate impact prohibition within Title VII.

Major features of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


Title I:
Title II:
Title III:
Title IV:
Title V:
Title VI:

Title VII of the Act, codified as Subchapter VI of Chapter 21 of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., prohibits discrimination by covered employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin (see 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2).

Title VII also prohibits discrimination against an individual because of his or her association with another individual of a particular race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. An employer cannot discriminate against a person because of his interracial association with another, such as by an interracial marriage.

Title 42 of the United States Code is the title of the United States Code dealing with public health, social welfare, and civil rights.

Posted by: opp88 | June 1, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

This really is some incredible stuff. I can't believe people who manipulate others can actually argue with these acomplishments. Obama will win the Hispanic vote in 2012 unanimously...
---------------------------------

A history major, Sotomayor wrote her senior thesis at Princeton on Luis Muñoz Marín, the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico, and on the territory's struggles for economic and political self-determination.

The thesis won honorable mention for the Latin American Studies Thesis Prize. She won the Pyne Prize, the top award for undergraduates, which reflected both strong grades and extracurricular activities.

She was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1976 she was awarded an A.B. from Princeton, graduating summa cum laude. Sotomayor has described her time at Princeton as a life-changing experience.

Posted by: opp88 | June 1, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Lets do a little test. Look around your dwelling and tell me if it looks like a pack rat lives there? Really, do this for yourself? Look around and tell us if you live like a pack rat?

You ask what constitutes what a pack rat dwelling looks like?

Having frozen meat in your freezer for over 6 months. Your fridge looks like hurricane Katrina ran through it a couple of times. Clothes packed everywhere, none picked up debris. Closets spilling over the threshhold... sorta speak. Driveway, garage and yard a mess. Wear old tattered clothing trying to convince your neighbors of your weekly yard sales. If you live like this? You are a pack rat...

It speaks volumes to be able to recognize and accept this hiddeous life style you must change.

Get out of your rut, come and join the rest of the world with a clean out look on life.

Posted by: opp88 | June 1, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The most disturbing aspect os Ms. Sotamayor's comments is that they strongly suggest an emphasis, not on the Rule of Law, but on the Rule of Man. The highest court in the land should not be basing its decisions on empathy; the Constitution should be guiding those decisions. Let's not forget that empathy has led to some of the most absurd judgements in civil court.

Posted by: tucker80111 | June 1, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I am glad the Ms. Marcus did not attribute all the complains related to Sotomayors controversial remark and court decisions to the Republicans . Sotomayors grew up as a golden girl with excellent education and good judicial experience. Her problem is: she is also arrogant in speaking about herself and her race.

Posted by: ypcchiu | June 1, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

So she's a bigot. All purveyors of group identity politics and social justice are, so why should she be different?

Our standards for those holding public office are nearing rock bottom.

Posted by: concernedcitizen3 | June 1, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

jmar66 makes a good point why should she apologize? if the committee cant read the context of this they have the problem. its all about fund raising. she is going to breeze through this if this is all they have on her.also i think hispanic is a culture and not a race but i could use aliitle help on this which is it race or culture?

Posted by: donaldtucker | June 1, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

To anyone who is interested, several landmark civil rights cases were decided by an all-male, all-white SCOTUS:
Brown v. Board of Education (1954), banning the segregation of public schools,
Miranda v. Arizona (1966), requiring police to advise a person in custody of their rights,
Loving v. Virginia (1967), overturning the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, thus allowing interracial marriage.

Seems to me that the Supremes were at one time fully capable of interpreting the Constitution and arriving at fair decisions on behalf of everyone (minorities included), despite their tragic handicap of being just a bunch of old geezer crackers.

[In fairness, Thurgood Marshall was one of the lawyers who argued Brown v. Board of Education before the Supremes. He was nominated to the court by Johnson (another white male) the day after the decision for Loving was handed down.]

I don’t doubt that Judge Sotomayer has first-hand knowledge of life as a Latina; that seems fairly obvious. But to argue that she is able to reach a better decision than a white male because of her background diminishes not only her peers, but herself as well. When we rise above our own prejudices and backgrounds, as clearly the aged white men of the Warren Court were able to do, we all benefit.

Empathy and the understanding of others are not the sole province of minorities. Justice, even social justice, must rest upon something more solid than skin color and personal life experience. It takes integrity of character, impartiality, and a clear understanding of Constitutional law.

Posted by: dh_in_dc | June 1, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

If, after she is seated, she sides with our President and blocks the release of ANY MORE torture photos. That alone might prevent another 9-11, and makes her a "wise" choice.

Posted by: teganmcdonough | June 1, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Judgments of Sotomayor were usually wrong, jrmart66. They are "careful", as president said, and it means that she is always sided with bigger and stronger side no matter hoa many violation of the letters of laws it requires. Her last case Ricci vs. DeStefano demonstrated not only these features, but also her 'reverse racism'. This case is currently pending in Supreme Court and should be overturned, I think, just because of this reverse racism it demonstrates so vividly.
The nomination of her right in the time when her racist judgment is perding in Supreme Court could only mean that the president shares her point of views, which so vividly demonstrated by this case. She is not the judge, who deserves any promotion because of the quality of her judgments. And, in addition, now it is the worst time to nominate her, even if she deserved such promotion.

Posted by: aepelbaum | June 1, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

"Regardless of gender or ethnicity, Sotomayor is more qualified, experienced, and better educated than the majority of current supreme court judges."
????????????

The other justices on the SC would take you to the woodshed on that idotic remark.

I think we need to take a step back and think about what we're saying sometimes...

What Sotomayor said was beyond stupid... racist comments always are.. I don't see how one can defend that comment but then blast a white guy for saying something just as stupid... Be proud of your heritage but don't say yours is any better than anyone elses...

Posted by: ravioliman6666 | June 1, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

If she were a white man....

There are those that think that we have had enough affirmative action. The brouhaha over Satomayor proves otherwise. Forty plus years of affirmative action has not even come close to repairing the discrimination against women,races, ethnicicity (i.e. our Native Americans) in the job market and education.

How else to you explain the continued glass ceiling?

How else do you explain an unemployment factor 60 times greater for blacks compared to whites.(please don't even try to tell me that whites want to work and blacks do not)?

How else do you explain our inferior inter-city and southern schools?

How else do we explain the wretched conditions on Indian Reservations or even the continued existence of a thing called a reservation?

How else do you explain the vitriol toward Hillary CLinton, Nancy Pelosi, and now Ms. Sotomayo?

Yes, to our credit, we have elected a president who is both intelligent and capable (in spite of RWN diatribes) and he happens to be black.

However, we have a long way more to go, Baby, before we can abandon Affirmative Action.

No, I don't want to hear of how white men are now being discriminated against.(i.e. white firemen) Blacks,women, other ethnic groups have put up with this for decades. Doesn't feel good does it?

Posted by: rmrobrita22 | June 2, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

In the context in which what judge Sotomayor said was proper and she should not withdraw that statement. Even otherwise, I think she is right in saying that a person like her with a world of experience would make a better judge than the while boys who are bigots in black coats.

Posted by: smithjohnson748 | June 2, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

What ever happened to "I will follow and protect the constitution." It is the constitution and following it that have got us where we are today (Greatest nation on earth). It has not been perfect because we are not perfect. Politics, money and power corrupted the full implementation of the constitution for all Americans in the past, but that does not mean the constitution should be ignored or replaced by some kind of "empathy" jurisprudence exercised from the bench.

Posted by: star_key2 | June 2, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Interesting! I am a bit amazed at the comments. Most of the time the comments within the WashPost are 3 or 4 to 1 pro-liberal. The comments here seem to be running exactly the opposite. I think it indicates that the support for SS is soft.

Posted by: Kevin_the_Student | June 2, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I APOLOGIZE.
I Made a mistake.
I actually thought someone on here could understand my point. Obviously not. BTW, while I COULD make personal attacks on some of those that misunderstood, one must take into account their intellect and just smile and move on.

Posted by: jrmart66 | June 2, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

compared2what:
Yes that is exactly right. But to what do you attribute her experience? I agree with your assessment of the Justices', harsh though it may be. I believe they DO come to the court each morning in exactly that frame of mind.
(except Clarence of course)
She is a product of her heritage and that is Latina. They are inseparable. Perhaps my pimple brain just can't handle thought

Posted by: jrmart66 | June 2, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I fail to see anything wrong with her comments. One would have to be ignorant of the studies of decision making to think that a person's background does not enter into a judge's decision. It was obvious from her choice of words that she did not mean in every case. The controlling word here is wise. I am not sure why so many people are so threatened by a Latin woman. That might say much more about those people than Judge Sotomayor

Posted by: roberthurley | June 2, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Marcus feels that she could put a different slant on legal stories than say Michael Gerson, because she's a female with degrees from Yale and Harvard Law School, and being married to the Chairman of the FTC.

I'm not saying she would be the only columnist I would read about that story, but I certainly would read her column on the topic before I would read Gerson's.

Maybe that's why the Supreme Court has a Chief Justice and 8 Associate Justices. So that the opinion of one Justice doesn't influence the opinion of others.

Of course we could discuss Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas if you would like?

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | June 2, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Good grief.........I don't give a flying fig what ethnicity Sotomayor is and I care even less about her imprudent blathering. Yes, I have seen the video where she says that "policy" is made from the appellate bench.

What I care about is her judicial record, and it ain't pretty. Thirty three out of forty four of Sotomayor's appellate decisions have been overturned by the very court where she aspires to sit. That does not even count the two more that are still pending before that august body.

Surely Obama might have found a jurist with a better record on the appellate bench. But then our President seems more interested in supplying 2 quotas to SCOTUS, female and Hispanic at the same time....never mind qualifications, I guess that doesn't count. Now just why is NO ONE talking about Sotomayor's dismal record?

Posted by: OregonStorm | June 2, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Judge Sotomayor is Hispanic, Puerto Rican, to be precise. She and two other judges affirmed ("per curiam") a lower court decision in Ricci vs DeStafano. Per curiam means she and the other two judges all agreed (as a court) to affirm a trial court decsion. The other two judges, Rosemary S. Pooler and Robert David Sack, were white. The trial court judge, Janet bond Arterton, was a white female. So we had 3 white judges (two female and one male) and 1 Hispanic female judge dismiss the Ricci complaint. Yet all the public scrutiny and charges of racism target and single-out the Hispanic Female, Judge Sotomayor, not any or all of the 3 white judges. There is also no public race-conscious/racist scrutiny targeting Mayor DeStefano and each member of the Civil Service Board.

The most insidious form of racism today is this pretense that 307 million Americans are color-blind, not race-conscious, that we all go about our lives making individual and group decisions based on pure rationality, pure impartiality, not because of our history and present-day realities. We're supposed to pretend "justice if blind" ... if not in the past then present-day. Yet all of us know the sober truth -- we each are race-conscious, some less and other mores. We know this race-consciousness often takes the form of racism, where we categorically favor our group over another in all of our decision-making ... who we date, sex-out, procreate with, marry, befriend, work with, socialize with, like and dislike. And we do it all consciously and often unconsciously. We call if "preference" or "freedom of choice" or "meritocrasy" or "best qualified".

Judge Sotomayor is no more or less race-conscious then her 3 white colleaques that decided the Ricci case. But I suspect she is less racist, bigoted, in how she acts-out her race-consciousness than her white colleaques -- because she has been a member of a minority racial group targetd by that white majority, because she has observed other non-white groups targeted by that majority white group. Even the founding fathers, who we love to cite and praise to be so rational, impartial, prophetic in their constitutional, judicial, legal wisdom, couldn't think and act beyond the race, gender, and class ideology of their time: slavery, 3/4 of a human being, no equal rights for women, and so forth. So, surely, we're not going to hold Judge Sotomayor up to a higher standard than the founding fathers held themselves up to! Surely we're not going to hold Judge Sotomayor up to a higher standard than we've held any white male or female judge up to -- be the 1st American or human being on the planet to become color-blind/non-race-conscious?

Posted by: GroupThink | June 2, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Too many years beating country club lawyers representing Puerto Ricans has given her a swelled head. Like Ali she seems to have the juice to back it.

Posted by: jameschirico | June 3, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Right now - now living here in the UK I feel like I have escaped Guantanamo.

Obama and his crew are a danger to the Unites States.

He tries to impress with his rhetoric, but his speeches rattle with a frightening naivety.

Posted by: Texman-UK | June 4, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

It is likely that Judge Sotomoyor will be a judicial activist in terms of the Second Amendment. The Amendment was ratified in 1787 and guarantees the right to bear arms. As written, however, it does not guarantee the right to bear arms that might be invented after 1787. The Founding Fathers and the Second Amendment are clear on this point because no clause for future inventions was included. Hence, a strict interpretation of the Constitution limits our right to bear only 1787-era arms. Will Judge Sotomoyor legislate from the bench and rule that we have the right to revolvers? assault rifle? nulcear bombs? If we are not satisfied with muskets, We certainly need a Constitutional Amendment for the right to bear these types of arms.

Posted by: Riograd | June 5, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

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