5.26.2009

once more, making good on his pledge




Thank you, Mr. President. This is one of the main reasons - among the top three out of maybe 1,739 or so - that we elected you. I'm happily getting used to all this hope and promise.

I admire Judge Sotomayor's willingness to acknowledge the important influence of background and experience on a judge's perspective. As she said at Berkeley Law in 2001 (this speech being the source of potential controversy in the upcoming nomination hearings):

"Our gender and national origins 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 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 experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." [U.C. Berkeley School of Law, 10/26/2001]


Yeah, baby.

Congratulations, Judge Sotomayor. A big shout out of support and love from your hometown. And good luck on Capitol Hill; that's where the next battle will be fought. I imagine you already know: there goes your summer vacation.



In response to Anonymous's foolhardiness (see Comments), a few thoughts from me. You'll find this addendum in the Comments section as well:

Here at my outpost, we place high value on civil decency and respect. You violated both codes of conduct. You may NOT stoop to name-calling without being brought to task. I came close to deleting your comments altogether, but I wanted to save the responses to your unnecessarily aggressive, rude remarks. Why? I got to know some of my lovely readers a bit better, and I'm the richer for it. I guess I have you to thank for that. Ironic, isn't it?

Regarding all the bluster about Judge Sotomayor: The talking point that conservatives pushed hardest last week — to the alarm finally of some Republican senators — was (presto!) the 2001 speech that I referenced in the original post.

The context matters. It always does. Judge Sotomayor was pointing out that throughout history even esteemed white male justices like Oliver Wendell Holmes voted to uphold race and sex discrimination. She said accidents of birth inform people’s views, but judges must strive to look beyond them. Several justices, including some conservatives, have made similar comments (Alito and Thomas, to name but two). I'm not going to reference these for you; do your own homework.

As is clear, Judge Sotomayor does not talk only of the benefits she derives from her experiences; she also notes the challenge to her as a judge "to be greater than the sum total of my experiences," and "continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate."

A racist? Puh-leez. You have some nerve, Anon. Other than that, you got nothin'.

A final word: Begone.






:image huffington post

14 comments:

secret, fragile skies said...

Perfect as always.

giulia said...

Amen, sisters.

Anonymous said...

I am embarrassed for your lack of understanding of the specified & clearly defined role of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. It is not, contrary to what you might "feel," doling out decisions based on empathy and previous life experience you dope! Have you ever studied American history? Have you ever read the Constitution? Bill of Rights? Amendments? This nominee wouldn't qualify to be a juror on any court--even a low level county court case, based on her admitted prejudices! Have you ever studied any of this? Do you think that a president can arbitrarily throw out all of American law and tradition and start making it up as he goes? You have exposed yourself to be completely, pathetically uninformed and something closer to a sheep.

giulia said...

This is why I do not allow anonymous comments on either of my blogs, nor do many writers.

I am embarrassed & sorry for those who feel compelled to substitute ad hominem attack for opinion. It speaks real fear & anger & one wonders why. If we knew, perhaps there could be a conversation about it.

Anonymous is uninformed about the the backgrounds of many who frequent this site & others like it.

Append a name to your opinions, refrain from name-calling, & perhaps civilized discourse could ensue. We'll not know, now.

Susan Sears

The Clever Pup said...

Seems that Anonymous has their knickers in a knot about what is simply the blog owners opinion.

Maybe he/she should trawl the internet for opinions more to their liking.

As a Canadian I can hardly venture an opinion - I know next to nothing about the American Supreme Court. I know that this choice has got to be better than a homogenous group of elderly white males - THAT would send you back to the early part of the 20th Century.

I trust Obama's judgement to make the right choice.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for using the word dope. Anyone who doesn't understand why this nominee is unqualified must never have passed U.S. History or never studied basic law. Looks, gender, empathy, ethnicity . . . it is all completely irrelevant. There is this small thing called the Law, and another small thing called "equal justice under the law." Notice there is no mention of "more justice for the poor," or "more justice for the rich," or more justice for the downtrodden or more justice for yourself than the guy next door. It offends me that the nominee thinks her ethnic heritage and gender makes her more qualified than white men to make good decisions. Pure racism--it is just approved because it is against caucasian men. I am female--of color, for what it's worth. Regarding my choice of 'Anonymous' instead of my own name, I just couldn't think of anything catchy. Blog names such as "secret, fragile skies" and "giulia"and "clever pup" don't exactly identify the writers, either. Not angry--just offended by the nominee's racist comments. A Latina's racism isn't any more attractive than a white man's racism. But apparently it is just more in vogue these days.

giulia said...

OK. Once more. And then that's it.

1) Live in DC for 30 years; honors in history, philosophy & religion; paralegal certificate (first in class at Howard, btw, in 2002--for fun); Fulbright Scholar. That's how it's done in DC, unfortunately, the CV business. And that's just a short list of accomplishments.

2) There is a philosophical theory of 'empathy' that does not mean 'I feel sorry for people just because of who I am.'

Perhaps that has not been covered well by the general media & that is a shame. I was also a reporter & editor (McGraw-Hill/BusinessWeek/Energy & Business Newsletters) & cringe at their behavior during this (predictable) mess.

3) It makes not one whit of difference as to your 'person of color' status. You won't even sign your name. Nothing "catchy" is required. If you're not signing in as a blogger or website owner, you put in your name (or choose one you wish it were) & which brings me to....

4) Not that I want/need more visitors to my sites, but it is quite clear what my name is, as well as The Clever Pup's...if you bothered to visit. As I said, no need. But I know her name. I am going to check out secret, fragile skies when I can. It's an evocative title for a site & I look forward to reading it.

BUT: in case you missed it, I signed my name.

Taking a deep breath (myself included) might be a good step towards calm. Additionally,as Hazel said, perhaps you'd be best off in going to sites that agree with your opinion.

Susan V. Sears...if you'd like the middle initial.

d i a n a m u s e said...

In response to Anonymous's foolhardiness, a few thoughts from me:

Here at my outpost, we place high value on civil decency and respect. You violated both codes of conduct. You may NOT stoop to name-calling without being brought to task. I came close to deleting your comments altogether, but I wanted to save the responses to your unnecessarily aggressive, rude remarks. Why? I got to know some of my lovely readers a bit better, and I'm the richer for it. I guess I have you to thank for that. Ironic, isn't it?

Regarding all the bluster about Judge Sotomayor: The talking point that conservatives pushed hardest last week — to the alarm finally of some Republican senators — was (presto!) the 2001 speech that I referenced in the original post.

The context matters. It always does. Judge Sotomayor was pointing out that throughout history even esteemed white male justices like Oliver Wendell Holmes voted to uphold race and sex discrimination. She said accidents of birth inform people’s views, but judges must strive to look beyond them. Several justices, including some conservatives, have made similar comments (Alito and Thomas, to name but two). I'm not going to reference these for you; do your own homework.

As is clear, Judge Sotomayor does not talk only of the benefits she derives from her experiences; she also notes the challenge to her as a judge "to be greater than the sum total of my experiences," and "continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate."

A racist? Puh-leez. You have some nerve, Anon. Other than that, you got nothin'.

A final word: Begone.

Anonymous said...

I didn't go after friends and visitors. I went after support of racist comments by a Supreme Court nominee. Be honest here!

Judging based on opinions, sympathies, and prejudices is antithetical to the constitution.

When a nominee states that she is a superior decision maker because of her skin color and gender, it is bigotry and prejudice. Check a dictionary for definition. As you say, do your homework! Context or no, her statement stands on its own. She believes her "rich" experiences as a Latina woman (wow--what about American Indians experience--not as rich as hers?) prepares her to be a better decision maker than the average Joe white guy? Shame on her! And shame on everyone willing to giver her a pass.

It is repugnant that this sort of racist statement is tolerated from anyone, and I would expect liberals (and a black president) to set a higher standard. This is clearly a political appointment, which demeans the Court. Ms. Sotomayor's decisions have been overturned by the same Court more than 50 percent of the time. Does this concern you or your readers?

It seems your tolerance ends the moment someone challenges group think. I am sorry to burst your bubble, but Ms. Sotomayor would never make it to juror status--on any court, anywhere! There was a time when Democrats/liberals expressed displeasure with cynical use of race. Where is the outrage?

Unfortunately, many (especially women) are so emotionally invested in the new, handsome, elegant, tall, cool, awesome, brilliant-but-never-had-a-job president, that they are willing to ignore such dreadful statements, as from Ms. Sotomayor.

I challenge you to have the courage to print my respectful response, but I suspect you will not.

Best regards & good luck.

lucyslounge-dee said...

thank you for such a beautiful blog. i would like to follow. can i do this? thanks again

Luisa Perkins said...

Anonymity is a cowardly cloak.

Carolina Elizabeth said...

I commend you on your bravery. It takes guts to say how you feel even nowadays. I think it is funny that people are not strong enough to say their name when they feel they have somehing "important" that needs to be said. Why be anonymous? Oh, the peonies are beautiful. My painting subject lately has been pink peonies. I just think they look so fresh and sensual.

Chef Chuck said...

A man of his word!!

secret, fragile skies said...

Have been away for awhile. Returned to reread your posts. Anonymous? Frightening. Everyday I am grateful that we finally have a brilliant, compassionate, introspective president...and articulate bloggers (diana:muse)to respond to comments like this.