Will Sotomayor Ever Shake the “Wise Latina Woman” Thing ??

15 07 2009

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was quoted as saying:

“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.” **

Another famous quote from Sonia in direct reference to the ethnic background and gender of a judge “may and will make a difference in our judging.”**


The controversy and the questions regarding her confirmation to replace Justice David Souter are all politics and a matter of formality at this point. Her record as a federal judge indicates no outward bias of any kind. She’s apparently a good judge with an excellent track record and her remarks in those instances were unfortunate.

Face the facts:

  • She’s a Democratic Party nominee.
  • The President picked her himself.
  • She grew up in the Bronx in a barely above poverty level environment, and her Papi died when she was a little girl – only 9 years old. (Being partially from da Bronix myself some of us actually embrace the small cultural differences that make us unique but still from the same family of New Yorkers. We  speak 132 languages every day here).
  • Her record as a judge is impeccable, and it’s been intensely scrutinized.
  • The nature of American politics demand that Republicans take shots at Democratic nominations to the Supreme Court and the Dems naturally must take shots at the Republican nominees when it’s their turn.
  • Nothing in her background has surfaced that would automatically derail her from confirmation.
  • She is 99% sure to be confirmed IMHO.

Were those statements racist? Well, probably a little bit, so the answer is “yes”.

Are they minor and more of a “foot in the mouth” experience that was never manifested in one of her court decisions in the past”. The answer is “yes”, they were minor and not reflective of any of her work.

Is she really a Latina racist who’s hell bent on reforming laws to favor women or Spanish or any other category people can be classified in? The answer is “No, probably not”. (Although it’s probable that she might fantasize about it a little bit. It’s doubtful she would ever actually allow bias to creep into a bench decision).

It is ABSURD to beat this issue again and again in front of the whole world? My vote is ABSURD NOT !! We need to investigate every crack in the dam thoroughly. It’s necessary to check everything we can and have confidence in our nation’s top judges.

In answer to the title of this post, I don’t think she’ll ever shake the “wise Latina woman” thing no matter where she goes for the rest of her life…. but it will die down to hardly a whisper someday, and it won’t prevent her confirmation.

** http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/us/15judge.html




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