What did this ‘wise Latina’ woman mean?
June 7, 2009 - 6:50 pm
For those still grappling with President Barack Obama’s pick of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court and her troubling comment that a "wise Latina woman" would "more often than not" reach a better conclusion that a "white male," I encourage you to visit this link.
It’s a very good analysis of what she said. It also gives you links to the full speech. The conclusion is that the criticism by some that "Judge Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal political agenda is more important than the law as written … and she thinks that judges should dictate policy, and that one’s sex, race and ethnicity ought to affect the decisions one renders from the bench" is "half true."
This is why I contend that it is important for Judge Sotomayor to recant the impression she has left with America that her skin pigmentation or cultural heritage make her a better judge that a "white male."
Her background may be valuable as a judge, but is it more valuable than another person’s background? Even if you try to make the case that in some specific cases it might be more valuable, it’s still hard to rectify her assertion that her background is "more often" more valuable.
I think you can make a case for different backgrounds being useful (and eventually overcome) in the lofty pursuit of impartial judgment. But when she hits the confirmation floor, the first thing she should recant is the ugly notion that one person’s race and background is "more often than not" better than another’s.