Patterico's Pontifications


Sotomayor: At Least She’s Consistent

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 9:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Greg Sargent at reports that, in a 1994 speech, Sonia Sotomayor made a “wise woman” comment that is “virtually identical to the ‘wise Latina’ one from 2001 that has generated so much controversy:”

“Here’s what [Sotomayor] said in the 1994 speech:

Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that “a wise old man and a wise old woman reach the same conclusion in dueling cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes the line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, if Prof. Martha Minnow is correct, there can never be a universal definition of ‘wise.’ Second, I would hope that a wise woman with the richness of her experience would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion.

That’s virtually identical to the comments from 2001 that have generated days and days of controversy.”

Sargent apparently views this as an important find that supports Sotomayor’s confirmation, reasoning that since Senators did not object to her statement in the 1998 confirmation hearings then they should not object now. However, in an update, Sargent notes that Politico’s Ben Smith suggests this “also makes it harder for the White House to cast it as a slip of the tongue,” while Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard says it skewers the “poor choice of words” defense.

Maybe, just maybe, Sonia Sotomayor actually believes Latina women are wiser than everyone else.

UPDATE: Tom Maguire has more thoughts. So is she a sexist or a racist?


19 Responses to “Sotomayor: At Least She’s Consistent”

  1. Greg Sargent is one of the most consistently dishonest bloggers on the internet. The intelligence of anyone who takes anything he says seriously should immediately be questioned. It is no shock that he sees her earlier statement as a positive rather than blowing all previous defenses of her 2001 statement out of the water. What a goofball.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  2. DRJ wrote:

    “…Maybe, just maybe, Sonia Sotomayor actually believes Latina women are wiser than everyone else….”

    I can promise you, DRJ, that this kind of thinking is absolutely the norm in modern academia. The concept that one’s identity group gives some kind of moral authority is everywhere. The individual means nothing.

    To me, the philosophy is innately racist. There are thoughtful and wonderful people from well to do white families, and horrible selfish liars among people of “minority” background. And vice versa. People in any “group” are not all of one type, period. It is racist to think so.

    Except that “racism” is now a sociological construct that excludes some racist behavior. Check out the logical limbo of many “Whiteness” courses at colleges and universities.

    I think that Sotomayor should be asked, directly, if she feels that racial identification of necessity leads to better mental functioning, or fairer decision making. In other words, does the “content of one’s character” matter, or is it all group identification. She will deny that she means that, of course, but her words seem pretty clear to me.

    Maybe we could get Larry Summers to ask her the question. Or perhaps “Dollar Bill” Jefferson.

    Anyway, I used to call this philosophy a “ethnocracy.” But it is far more pernicious than that. Who one’s parents are become more important than one’s own qualities.

    Thomas Sowell hit the nail on the head, years ago, with his great books “The Vision of the Anointed” and “The Quest for Cosmic Justice.”

    Eric Blair (5a226d)

  3. More important, I think, is the activity she conducted as a student on behalf of Puerto Rican independence. That is a real fringe position with less than 2% of Puerto Ricans voting for that. The people who attempted to assassinate Harry Truman were Puerto Rica separatists. She was a sympathizer and Hillary Clinton saw to it that her husband pardoned them.

    Of course, the press is on Obama’s team so it may not come out.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  4. Eric, that is racist of you to say that.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  5. “She was a sympathizer and Hillary Clinton saw to it that her husband pardoned them.”

    Mike K – Those people weren’t even seeking pardons. They wanted to stay in prison as martyrs. Hillary wanted them out for votes. Holder played along like a good lap dog.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  6. Daley, I know you are channeling JD, but will you accept as nonracist the words of Dr. Sowell himself?

    But since he doesn’t have a “D” after his name, he won’t count either.

    It’s a “alphabeticracy.” Partisan identification trumps everything.

    Eric Blair (5a226d)

  7. You mean Nazi Germany was an alphabeticracy?

    Or how about Communist China, Cuba, or Venezuela?

    No, we have a better term for countries where economic advancement is predicated on political loyalty:

    One-party states.

    That’s where Barack Obama wants to take us.

    Daryl Herbert (a32d30)

  8. What the latest revelation shows us is that in 1994 Sotomayor was merely a sexist. As of 2001, she was both sexist AND racist…She’s come a long way, baby…

    Jim B (3552e7)

  9. ALITO: “Senator, I tried to in my opening statement, I tried to provide a little picture of who I am as a human being and how my background and my experiences have shaped me and brought me to this point. … And that’s why I went into that in my opening statement. Because when a case comes before me involving, let’s say, someone who is an immigrant — and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases — I can’t help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn’t that long ago when they were in that position. […]

    And that goes down the line. When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.”

    Just get over it. Read the whole thing, she said nothing out of line.

    Duvel (62b020)

  10. “…Just get over it. Read the whole thing, she said nothing out of line…”

    Really? You might look into what happened to Larry Summers at Harvard. Please tell him to “get over it.”

    Ah yes: “…that’s different…

    Different experiences are one thing. Professed superiority based upon membership in an biologically defined identity group IS racism….no matter how your own partisanship warps the view.

    Sotomayor will probably be confirmed. I just want to see her asked the appropriate questions during her hearing. Instead of the usual sloppy kisses of the Left when there is a “D” after a nominee’s name.

    Eric Blair (5a226d)

  11. maybe, Sonia Sotomayor actually believes Latina women are wiser than everyone else.

    Maybe not Latina women in general.

    Maybe just Latina women named Sonia Sotomayor. A little more narcissistic and a little less racist – which is actually more problematic for me.

    Sonia didn’t study and kiss ass so that some other Latina could reap the reward. If it was about putting the wisest of a race into the highest position, Sonia might recommend someone other than herself, at least as an alternate.

    But that’s not happening.

    That’s the big lie of leftist identity politics. “See, my wonderful accumulation of wealth is helping our people!”

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  12. Maybe, just maybe, Sonia Sotomayor actually believes Latina women are wiser than everyone else.
    She thinks SHE is smarter than everyone else, and she has a soft spot in her heart for group-identity politics and justice. She and Obama are two peas in a pod.

    cboldt (3d73dd)

  13. In her thesis, Sotomayor refused to write “US Congress.” Instead, this Puerto Rican separatist used ‘North American Congress’ & ‘mainland Congress.’ Stuart Taylor writes about it at the National Journal…

    DemFools (515c34)

  14. What do puerto rican separatists think of US judges?

    imdw (c990d8)

  15. Another note on her 1994/2001 speeches: how intellectually lazy is this woman?

    She’s cribbing in its entirety, an entire passage from a speech she gave 7 years prior. Rather than come up with an original formulation, she resorted to cutting and pasting something she said previously – only making a single substitution in order to better fit her intended audience.

    That’s not the kind of mind that should be sitting on the Supreme Court even if you completely disregard her racist and sexist attitudes.

    Jim B (3552e7)

  16. Jim B: “That’s not the kind of mind that should be sitting on the Supreme Court even if you completely disregard her racist and sexist attitudes.”

    Egg-zactly!! Or, for those with a humor deficency “exactly!”

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  17. Look, I’m not any happier about her nomination and eventual confirmation than anyone else, but I don’t see her comments as racist. Would they be considered if the races were reversed? Absolutely. But here’s the thing — Sotamayer is probably only parroting what ever far left professor (ie: almost all of her professors) has told her since her first year in college. And I bet 95%+ of the profesors who fed her that drivel were white. I agree that the comment is extraordinarily wrongheaded and an indication of the type of anti-objectivist activisim she’s going to bring to the court, but I don’t buy the racist meme. Sorry.

    Sean P (e57269)

  18. “but I don’t buy the racist meme. Sorry.”

    Well, you better start…

    “Whether born from experience or INHERENT PHYSIOLOGICAL or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging…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…”

    Racist part highlighted. The rest is pure ethnic and sexist bigotry.

    Dave Surls (0e1f5a)

  19. […] has been a shameless race baiter, 2nd amendment hater, anti-constitutional, seems somewhat intellectually lazy, and an old school feminist who’s many good accomplishments have served to bolster ridiculous […]

    sotomayor confirmation hearings | Blatherings Blog (5df32d)

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