Friday, May 29, 2009

Sotomayor's 2001 Speech:Racist, Sexist, or not?

After days of looking I finally found the 2001 Berkely speech that has gotten the Right all up in arms.

The paragraph that has lead to so much controversy is:

"Whether born form experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origin may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, 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."

Now, as has been argued by Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, had a white male nominee said, "I would hope that a wise white male with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a [insert race] female who hasn't lived that life" the demand for him to step down would be story one in all media outlets. I have read all 8 pages of her speech and there are other aspects that concern me from the notion of establishing Law from the judge seat.

To stay informed, I suggest that all read the speech so you can see the racial statement in its context and review her views of the purpose of the Judge. A take away from her speech that I have is that Justice is not blind in her court as it is to be.