6/01/2009

Judge Sonia Sotomayor on Race, worse than I first thought

Many have frequently said that the statement "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 wasn't lived that life" was taken out of context. Yet, when one reads the entire statement, it is actually worse. Immediately preceding the quote in question, Sotomayor said: "Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that wise old men and wise old--and a wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am...not so sure that I agree with the statement." That is amazing. From Meet the Press:

"I...accept that our experiences as women and people of color affect our decisions. The aspiration to impartiality is just that--it's an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others. ... Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that wise old men and wise old--and a wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am...not so sure that I agree with the statement. ... 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 wasn't lived that life. ... Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what the difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage."

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7 Comments:

Blogger Harry Schell said...

Well, eaulaity before the law is supposed to mean an abscence of race, gender, financial position, etc. in determining "justice". In times when such was not achieved, we all lost.

Such times were wrong. The solution, to as an excuse to promote another gender, race, etc. as "compensation", will produce no more justice than before.

This is the failure of "empathy" and "wise Latinas". We are just changing the form of injustice and discrimination, the targets, and not working the problem.

I do love the self-approving phrase "people of color". Last time I looked, white was a color.

6/01/2009 9:51 AM  
Blogger Pundit said...

This is a silly debate. If she is a racist, show it in her decisions.

Read her comments and you see a thoughtful person aware of how personal experiences bias individual decisions based on the same set of facts. It's one reason we have nine justices on that panel. O'Connor's comments about wise old men and women reaching the same conclusions are disingenuous. Does anyone think that Scalia's Catholicism does not factor into his judgement? Would anyone care to argue whether Thurgood Marshall was not a wise old man or that being black did not affect his judgement? Or even that Thomas' race hasn't affected his?

If there were no differences between the conclusions that people with different backgrounds would make, why not have only one Supreme Court Judge? Why worry about which party gets to nominate the justices? Why not just build a computer program to crank out an answer based on objective data?

Again, if you want to make "racism" (and no, you didn't specifically call her a racist, but you are clearly playing upon and emphasizing the "racist" meme that is echoing throughout right-wingnut radioland), demonstrate it through her decisions.

6/01/2009 4:28 PM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Dear Pundit:

You arguments lack merit. It is not for us to show her racism in her decisions, she has already done that for herself.

We have read her comments, and they are self evident of her racist nature.

As far as Scalia goes, at least he sees the Law for what it is, and does not engage in rewriting the Constitution to serve his own personal interests.

Let us, for a moment, look at your first, and last statements of your post...

'This is a silly debate. If she is a racist, show it in her decisions.'

The above is your first statement. The following is your last.

'Again, if you want to make "racism" (and no, you didn't specifically call her a racist, but you are clearly playing upon and emphasizing the "racist" meme that is echoing throughout right-wingnut radioland), demonstrate it through her decisions.'

Who, praytell, is playing the race card here, Pundit? Could it be you, by mentioning 'Thurgood Marshall was not a wise old man or that being black did not affect his judgement? Or even that Thomas' race hasn't affected his?'

Do tell... Are we discussing Jefferson here, or perhaps a so called 'conservative' SCOTUS Justice? Kinda hard for me to tell, as your arguments smack of politics, and not logic.

6/02/2009 1:54 AM  
Blogger Pundit said...

Schalz,
Based on your post here and other posts you've made, I'm not sure you understand what logic is. You obviously don't understand what constitutes proof or a well- supported argument. Merely making a statement and saying you don't have to provide proof (nor, apparently, logic) because it is self-evident (which is what you do), doesn't constitute an argument or even an informed opinion.

Despite your claims, no one has shown any evidence that Sotomayor is racist. As for who introduced race here? Try looking at the title of the original blog entry.

6/02/2009 8:52 AM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Good afternoon, Pundit.

I am thankfull that someone here reads my posts, but when I read yours, all I can think of is 'Rabbit Seasoning'. With that in mind, I'll slow down my typing speed so you can read what I say, instead of you skipping over what was typed at a speed that you cannot comprehend.

I do understand logic, and that was what was used against you. Ms. Sotomayor screwed up, and you followed in her footsteps.

To wit: I used your own words against you, as she has suffered from her own words. Sucks, doesn't it?

We here are not children, at least most of us, and we do and can follow the data. In that regard, I do not treat others as children by attacking them for what is common knowledge amongst many of us who post here. WE DO FOLLOW THE NEWS, AND FROM BOTH SIDES! Why is it that I should should reiterate common knowledge in order to appease you?

All you know how to do is attack, because you yourself cannot posit an proper argument yourself. I do not have to spoonfeed folks here, and yet you ask I to do so, in the form of an attack?

One last example...

'Despite your claims, no one has shown any evidence that Sotomayor is racist. As for who introduced race here? Try looking at the title of the original blog entry.'

As for whom has shown evidence that Sotomayor is racist, it was she that has done so. Just like you have, Pundit. For Dr. Lott to simply point out what exists in the media in order to support his argument is nothing more than a proof. Which is what I do to folks like you.

Grow up Pundit. You simply screech, and lose an oppourtunity to actually contribute something of value to society. You do so simply because you cannot withstand any proofs that undermine your weak grip on reality.

6/02/2009 7:36 PM  
Blogger Wayne Conrad said...

The onus is not upon those who take alarm at her statements to show that she is not racist, or not impartial, or not whatever. The lofty goal of a supreme court jurist is to decide whether or not law is constitutional, and to do so impartially. Whether or not that goal is perfectly attainable is not relevant--it is the goal, and nobody who professes otherwise should be accepted to the bench. She has said, in her own words, that she will not be impartial. "Oh, others haven't been impartial either" is no excuse.

6/02/2009 7:37 PM  
Blogger Pundit said...

Schalz,
Again, your post has no substance. Beyond ad hominem attacks and some fairly worn-out insults, you apparently have nothing to say.

Conrad, I agree with what you say: impartiality is a lofty goal. But it is that: a goal. If you look at the full text of Sotomayor's words you see that she clearly sees impartiality as an ideal, fufilling the requirement as you defined it.

I believe you are a realist who knows that complete impartiality in all things is not possible. As I have said before, it is far more desireable to deal with someone who is aware of their biases and aspires to impartiality than someone who lies about their impartiality and sees no need to strive for a higher ideal. Sotomayor's words on this put her in the first category.

And I think it is incumbent upon those who accuse others of being racist to prove the charge.

Again, if she is truly a racist, or significantly biased, and not merely expressing pride in her background and heritage (something that both Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito did in their confirmation process) then the evidence should be very easy to find.

Taking potshots at others with no evidence or foundation for your claims (as Schalz does)is easy and juvenile. If we are taking the nomination of someone to the Supreme Court seriously, it means we have to talk about it like serious people. I think that people like John Lott and Martin Schalz, who have taken the easy route of using nasty insinuations, can do much better than they have so far.

6/03/2009 10:10 AM  

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