Sotomayor pt. 3

Posted: 29 May 2009 in civil rights, obamanation, republicans

This is the full paragraph that Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh sniped a quote from for their charge of racism (emphasis on that line is mine):

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. 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 not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. 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 experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

Now, even taken out of context I understood what Sotomayor meant (primarily because I can think rationally and am not desperately attempting to find something -anything- to latch onto in order to make her look bad and not finding much).  She wasn’t saying that a Latina women make better judges than white men, she was saying that in cases that required knowledge of what it means to be Latina and female, Latina women would more often reach a better conclusion because they lived those experiences, as opposed to white males who have not.

Let’s rephrase that statement:

“I would hope that a rich white male asshole with the experience of being a rich white male asshole would more often than not reach a better conclusion on what being a rich white male asshole is than a Latina woman who is neither rich, white, male, or an asshole.”



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