From her earliest days at Princeton University and later Yale Law School to her 12-year involvement with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund to her speeches and writings, including her jurisprudence, Judge Sotomayor has consistently displayed an affinity for such views.
As an undergraduate, she actively pushed for race-based goals and timetables in faculty hiring.
In her senior thesis, she refused to identify the U.S. Congress by its proper name, instead referring to it as the "North American Congress" or the "Mainland Congress."
During her tenure with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, she urged quota-seeking lawsuits challenging civil-service exams.
She opposed the death penalty as racist.
She made dubious arguments in support of bilingual education and tried to equate English language requirements with national origin discrimination.
As a judge, she dissented from an opinion that the Voting Rights Act does not give prison inmates the right to vote.
Finally, and perhaps most dramatically, she showed in the New Haven firefighters case a willingness to let her policy preferences guide her, ruling that it was perfectly lawful for the city there to throw out the results of a promotion exam because those who did well on it were the wrong color.
Although she has attempted this week to back away from her own words -- and has accused her critics of taking them out of context -- the record is clear: Identity politics is at the core of Judge Sotomayor's self-definition. It has guided her involvement in advocacy groups, been the topic of much of her public writing and speeches, and influenced her interpretation of law.
There is no reason to believe that her elevation to the Supreme Court will temper this inclination, and much reason to fear that it will play an important role in how she approaches the cases that will come before her if she is confirmed. I therefore strongly urge you not to confirm Judge Sotomayor as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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