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]
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