Monthly Archives: August 2009

Sotomayor and Race

I would now like to comment on something which should be completely trivial and unnecessary in rational discussion: Judge Sotomayor, and the question of race in the context of her confirmation. I am not the first to examine this topic, but I believe it is part of a larger whole that is the use of identity politics in America today at all levels of government. To start out, let us remember a point she made from one of her speeches in 1994, which she recycled and used again in 2001:

“A wise woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a man.”

…and here is the 2001 quote:

“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.”

As these statements halfheartedly trickled down through the catacombs of mainstream left-wing reporting entities, the “wise Latina woman” herself has had ample opportunity to justify her words, and ample opportunity to be attacked. That aside, you know as well as I do, if a white male had made similarly bigoted comments about the superior judgment of his own race, and the value of his own experiences in judicial rulings, the mainstream left-wing media would never let it go; we would never hear the end of it! Here is my message to any senator—Democrat or otherwise—any judge, or any other supporter of Sotomayor because of her race: If you find yourself incapable of judging her (or anyone else) as a nominee using an immutable standard such as constitutional interpretation or originalism as opposed to variables, and characteristics respective of different national or ethnic groups, you only show a deep and malignant blemish on your character. The fact that she can get away with this (in hearings by rephrasing her words like any good politician, and on the floor of the Senate, where she will most likely be confirmed by vote) is bad enough. It is yet another example of the incompetency of our representatives and parts of their constituency who do not understand the role of a justice. But the fact that this has even developed in to a valid discussion in the first place, and successfully distracted us from the nominee’s positions on constitutional issues is even more disgusting. It was apparent from the start that the President nominated her because of her race and background. The mainstream left-wing media doesn’t even need to make the case for judicial activism on her part or anyone else’ because the debate is framed around whether or not the opposition to her confirmation represents racism in America. This is to be entirely expected when the debate concerns a liberal politician, and I must give her credit for dodging every question possible regarding constitutional interpretation, but I digress. Americans need to understand that the role of the justice, whatever gender, nationality or race they may be is not to vote or rule based on empathy, nor is it to institutionalize identity politics in any branch of government, nor is it to create policy. We must not let nomination based on racism become the precedent for the high courts of the United States.