It amazes me that for all the attention Judge Sonia Sotomayor has attracted for a racially charged statement in a 2001 speech, few are tying her attitude to President Barack Obama's. Just as he knew precisely what his 20-year pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was about and approved, he knew, prior to nominating her, what Sonia Sotomayor is about and approved. In both cases, he just didn't want us to know.
In her 2001 speech at Berkeley, Sotomayor said, "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."
Obama's apologists claim Sotomayor's statement was taken out of context. But the context of her prepared remarks makes the statement more -- not less -- incriminating.
The sentences preceding the statement were: "Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge (Miriam) Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice (Sandra Day) 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 that I agree with the statement."
First, it's important to note that she's not talking about trial judges, for example, who might be more or less lenient in their sentencing within the prescribed sentencing guidelines, but about appellate judges applying the law.
Next, Sotomayor is not just saying that as imperfect human beings, judges sometimes rule differently because, try as they might to be impartial, no human being can be totally impartial.
Nor is she merely saying that women, based on their gender, rule differently from men or that those of different nationalities rule differently based on those differences, but that they should do so and that their rulings usually are superior because of it.
Are you getting this? She is saying women and minority judges should not even strive toward objectivity, impartiality or blind justice, but should indulge their subjective experiences to apply the law with partiality aforethought, presumably to remedy past perceived or actual wrongs, even if unwarranted by objective application of the law. They should ignore or twist the law to achieve their desired policy result.
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