Fellow 2nd Circuit Court judge Jose Cabranes commented on the short shrift given to the serious issues in this case. It so happens that he too is Hispanic, but apparently he does not decide legal issues on the basis of "empathy" or lack thereof.
This was not an isolated matter for Judge Sotomayor. Speaking at the University of California at Berkeley in 2001, she said that the ethnicity and sex of a judge "may and will make a difference in our judging."
Moreover, this was not something she lamented. On the contrary, she added, "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."
No doubt the political spinmasters will try to spin this to mean something innocent. But the cold fact is that this is a poisonous doctrine for any judge, much less a justice of the Supreme Court.
That kind of empathy would for all practical purposes repeal the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees "equal protection of the laws" to all Americans.
What would the political spinmasters say if some white man said that a white male would more often reach a better conclusion than a Hispanic female?
For those who believe in the rule of law, Barack Obama used the words "rule of law" in introducing his nominee. For those who take his words as gospel, even when his own actions are directly the opposite of his words, that may be enough to let him put this dangerous woman on the Supreme Court.
Even if her confirmation cannot be stopped, it is important for Senators to warn of the dangers, which will only get worse if such nominations sail through the Senate smoothly.