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NYT ‘Explains’ Sotomayor’s Racist Views

From the May 15, 2009 edition of the New York Times:

U.S. Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor speaks after U.S. President ...

A Judge’s View of Judging Is on the Record

By CHARLIE SAVAGE

May 15, 2009

WASHINGTON — In 2001, Sonia Sotomayor, an appeals court judge, gave a speech declaring that the ethnicity and sex of a judge “may and will make a difference in our judging.”

In her speech, Judge Sotomayor questioned the famous notion — often invoked by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her retired Supreme Court colleague, Sandra Day O’Connor — that a wise old man and a wise old woman would reach the same conclusion when deciding cases.

“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,” said Judge Sotomayor, who is now considered to be near the top of President Obama’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees.

Her remarks, at the annual Judge Mario G. Olmos Law and Cultural Diversity Lecture at the University of California, Berkeley, were not the only instance in which she has publicly described her view of judging in terms that could provoke sharp questioning in a confirmation hearing.

This month, for example, a video surfaced of Judge Sotomayor asserting in 2005 that a “court of appeals is where policy is made.” She then immediately adds: “And I know — I know this is on tape, and I should never say that because we don’t make law. I know. O.K. I know. I’m not promoting it. I’m not advocating it. I’m — you know.”

The video was of a panel discussion for law students interested in becoming clerks, and she was explaining the different experiences gained when working at district courts and appeals courts. Her remarks caught the eye of conservative bloggers who accused her of being a “judicial activist,” although Jonathan H. Adler, a professor at Case Western Reserve University law school, argued that critics were reading far too much into those remarks.

Republicans have signaled that they intend to put the eventual nominee under a microscope, and they say they were put on guard by Mr. Obama’s statement that judges should have “empathy,” a word they suggest could be code for injecting liberal ideology into the law.

Judge Sotomayor has given several speeches about the importance of diversity. But her 2001 remarks at Berkeley, which were published by the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, went further, asserting that judges’ identities will affect legal outcomes.

“Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences,” she said, for jurists who are women and nonwhite, “our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.”

Her remarks came in the context of reflecting her own life experiences as a Hispanic female judge and on how the increasing diversity on the federal bench “will have an effect on the development of the law and on judging.”

In making her argument, Judge Sotomayor sounded many cautionary notes. She said there was no uniform perspective that all women or members of a minority group have, and emphasized that she was not talking about any individual case.

She also noted that the Supreme Court was uniformly white and male when it delivered historic rulings against racial and sexual discrimination. And she said she tried to question her own “opinions, sympathies and prejudices,” and aspired to impartiality.

Still, Judge Sotomayor questioned whether achieving impartiality “is possible in all, or even, in most, cases.” She added, “And I wonder whether by ignoring our differences as women or men of color we do a disservice both to the law and society.”

She also approvingly quoted several law professors who said that “to judge is an exercise of power” and that “there is no objective stance but only a series of perspectives.”

“Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see,” she said.

Charles J. Ogletree Jr., a Harvard law professor and an adviser to Mr. Obama, said Judge Sotomayor’s remarks were appropriate. Professor Ogletree said it was “obvious that people’s life experiences will inform their judgments in life as lawyers and judges” because law is more than “a technical exercise,” citing Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s famous aphorism: “The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.”

In a forward to a 2007 book, “The International Judge” (U.P.N.E.), Judge Sotomayor seemed to put a greater emphasis on a need for judges to seek to transcend their identities, writing that “all judges have cases that touch our passions deeply, but we all struggle constantly with remaining impartial” and letting reason rule. Courts, she added, “are in large part the product of their membership and their judges’ ability to think through and across their own intellectual and professional backgrounds” to find common ground.

Substitute ‘white’ for ‘Latina’ in her quote, and ask yourself if that judge would be put on the Supreme Court.

But how kind of the Solons at the New York Times to gently explain to us that we have nothing to worry about.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, May 26th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

28 Responses to “NYT ‘Explains’ Sotomayor’s Racist Views”

  1. MinnesotaRush

    “Judge Sotomayor asserting in 2005 that a “court of appeals is where policy is made.”

    So, o-blah-blah has added another clueless lib who has no knowledge or belief in the three branches of government and their functions to the mix.

    And of course there’s no racism indicated in a statement such as:

    “Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences,” she said, for jurists who are women and nonwhite, “our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.”

    Nope. No racism. Just more re-making of America.

  2. proreason

    “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,”

    imho, this is extremely incendiary and disqualifies the speaker from holding any position of authority, no matter the SCOTUS.

    If she had said a “different conclusion”, then it would be debatable……but to say a “better conclusion” is absolutely ludicrous, racist, and deeply wrong.

    And then this one is interesting as well “there is no objective stance but only a series of perspectives.”

    Gee, I kinda thought that the quest for objectivity was why we have judges. If we can’t have that, then proreason should be on the SCOTUS.

    • Petronius

      Valid points, Proreason.

      Sotomayor: “reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

      That appears to be advocacy for anti-white male racism, pure and simple.

      Sotomayor: “Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see.”

      That’s a pretty good thumbnail definition of prejudice.

      With Sotomayer you get “empathy,” not the law. With Sotomayer the blindfold comes off of Lady Justice. What happens then to the rule of law? Romanus orbis ruit.

    • wardmama4

      -‘Sotomayor: “reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”’-
      I truly, with as much reasoned passion as I have in my soul, hate and despise this ‘you can’t understand, comment, or judge me, if you aren’t me, black (hispanic, asian, woman, fake grieving mother etc) – B***S**** – this is not what the LAW is about – at all.

      Justice is supposed to be blind – not empathetic, compassionate, racist, bigoted, or biased in any way shape or form.

      If this isn’t reason to disqualify this Affirmative Action disgrace from the Supreme Court –

      Perhaps the fact that she (when she has written the majority opinion) has been overturned 80% of the time – which means that she does not have a clue about what a judge’s real job is.

      But for me the reason this Affirmative Action disgrace should not be approved is: -‘video surfaced of Judge Sotomayor asserting in 2005 that a “court of appeals is where policy is made.” ‘-

      She believes (as does The One ™) that their only job and is to shape America into their own personal vision of paybacks, reparations and gittin’ even with them that did it to them.

      And the sad thing is that the pathetic excuse for Republicans and Blue Dog Dems and the Independent won’t even try to bring out these failures of this Affirmative Action disgrace to light – and the foaming at the mouth liberal wing of the DNC will hold seat on all 3 powers in America.

      God Help America – it is going to get much worse before the adults step back up and take charge again.

  3. beautyofreason

    national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.”

    Sorry, if somebody is an American judge their “national origins” should have no freaking bearing on their rulings. We’re not globalists.

    I’m sick of these justices. Harold Koh, one of Obama’s legal picks (a Korean from Yale Law School), called the U.S. the “axis of disobedience” for not following international precedents and sees no reason why Shariah law shouldn’t be applied to U.S. courts.

    “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would…reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,”

    Score one for the man haters. Switch: “I would hope that a wise white male with the richness of his experiences would…reach a better conclusion than a hispanic female who hasn’t lived that life.”

    Can you imagine the uproars over that one? And yet the media gives racism an easy slide on the left…

  4. Colonel1961

    When she fails to be confirmed, maybe I’ll let her clean my house. After all, given the richness of her experiences, she could do a better job than my white female wife…

    • Liberals Demise

      How articulate of you Colonel!

    • Right of the People

      Colonel sir, I think you are displaying an appallingly bad attitude. I like that. Has anyone checked her green card yet?

    • AcrobaticTenement

      It’s disgusting talk like this that gives all Republicans a bad name.

    • jobeth

      AcrobaticTenement….????? You ARE kidding aren’t you? If not lighten up!

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps

      I agree with AcrobaticTenement actually. She is Puerto Rican not Mexican or Central American. She probably would not make a good house keeper due to this fact. She would however, probably rob you blind or stab you. : )

    • wardmama4

      You know what p*sses me off royally about this b*tch and her ‘tude? – (for all you touchy feelly group huggers, now is the time to go do that, look away now before your lil senses are assaulted) is:

      1) how dare you blame the ‘white’ man for your personal problems – even today Whites are the majority of America – get over it and get on with it. You don’t seem to have a problem sucking up to any/all ‘White’ institutions that will allow you to get back, get even and get over on any and all ‘white’ people. How damn convenient that you use it when it benefits you and spit on it at other times. How two-faced and hypocritical is that.

      2) that this stupid, vapid woman does not (probably does not even know) how bad it is/can be in the country of her ‘origin’ – I have a friend from the island (he still goes home every couple of years) – who found out while his grandfather was on his death bed that the old man had sold his daughters for some scratch – that was her mother’s chance in her great and wonderful ‘homeland’ (except for those of us in that place called reality, we know that it isn’t even her ‘homeland’ – the great satan America is her homeland). [And I have an Asian friend (from one of the poorer countries) who does not know how old she really is because her father did not even bother to register her birth]. Every single place in the World sucks, if you focus solely on the negative. Work, sugar, to make it better – not to git thems that got you (NOT).

      America is not the Great Satan these pathetic ‘pity me’ people keep whining about – it is the beacon of Freedom, Independence and Hope that the World still runs to – I can not for the life of me get how blind with hate, stupid with anger and vapid with an unwillingness to use the brain cells between there ears these people continue this awful assault on the greatest Country in the World. She is a disgrace to her father and he must be rolling over in his grave and she does ‘her’ people no good to want to keep them filled with anger and hate and ever, always the victim.

      Be An American and realize that you have what you have, are where you are and can do what you have done (and even more) simply because you had the fortune to be born in the greatest country in the World.

      And I know of what I speak b*tch – I am the illegitimate almost dead (serious medical problems) half breed spawn who managed (through the wonderful opportunities of this great Country) to not only survive but thrive into many great and grand adventures, life and hopefully passed on the respect and eagerness to take advantage of any/all opportunities to my four surviving children (that I was never, ever medically suppose to have). The woman who couldn’t be bothered punished with me – did me a great service by walking out and leaving me behind. I only have had to ‘fight’ with – who am I and how did I get here – never with opportunities or possibilities – those ARE always out there for those who will simply get up and reach for them.

      God Help America – it’s going to be a long, awful 4 years.

    • electionhangovervictim

      wardmama4, I couldn’t help but stand up and clap after reading that. Well said.

    • WhiteYouth

      For all you out dated pricks nothing is ever going f@#king change if you cant articualte your feelings better than You will let her clean your house if she doesnt get approved you make me sick how can we ever get over this stigma that if you are white and come from a middle class family your a bigot if you leave remarks like this…… i am the last one to blame myself for the plight of minorities but what the f#@k saying that she will rob you or stab you i know many more whites that would rob you with one hand while waving hello with the other Republicans should belive in a localized goverment and a free country for all that will contribute to it and make it a better place and go ahead and call me a hippy or a tree hugger its better than being a outdated old fart

    • proreason

      “out dated pricks nothing is ever going f@#king change if you cant articualte your feelings better than … you make me sick …your a bigot if you leave remarks like this…but what the f#@k … i know many more whites that would rob you with one hand while waving hello with the other …go ahead and call me a hippy or a tree hugger its better than being a outdated old fart”

      Thanks for sharing your articulation skills, WhiteY.

      And by the way, have you considered getting some new friends? maybe some that don’t rob you?

      And maybe they could help you with grammar and spelling and other outdated stuff like that.

    • Colonel1961

      Gee, WhiteYouth, you’re so articulate (and erudite). Did, perhaps, it go over your head that I was being the slightest bit facetious about her cleaning my house? And that sarcasm is often an effective method of communication…

      p.s. I’m neither old nor a fart. Punk…

  5. jrmcdonald

    The purpose of ‘diversity’ to show us that people of color can be racist and stupid also.

  6. “Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or

    cultural differences,” she said, for jurists who are women and

    nonwhite, “our gender and national origins may and will make a

    difference in our judging.”

    Will it? What we have here is an endorsement of every prejudiced sentiment ever expressed by any race hater on the planet.

    Wouldn’t this apply to any the judgement of young black or Puerta Rican (non-white) woman deciding to have – say – risky unprotected sex.

    Wouldn’t the out-of-wedlock births/AIDS statistics support this conclusion. Aren’t out-of-wedlock births joined at the hip with poverty.

    Couldn’t it be argued that the people referenced by Ms. Sotomayor made bad judgements based on thier “inherent physiological or cultural differences…”

    Could it be argued that the disparities between the poverty of non-white women and the rest of the population be due to the “inherent physiological or cultural differences”?

    In the minds of most liberals, the differences in poverty levels between whites and non-whites is racism pure and simple. I believe Ms. Sotomayor has laid the foundation for another theory.

    • Petronius

      Sotomayor: “inherent physiological or cultural differences….”

      Naw . . . I can’t believe she really said that. No Liberal will openly acknowledge the existence of physiological or behavioral differences among the races. There must be some other explanation . . . .

  7. right liberal

    The inherent racism of any who try to pretend that the then-new group Lyndon Johnson’s people invented in 1965, “Hispanics”, are anything more distinct among whites than Italians, French, Germans, Scots or even Anglo-Saxon English is illustrated quite well by this woman Sotomayor’s remarks. Which means she is a bigot against others of her actual race, whites, for purposes of gaining through the Democrats’ grievance system of racial quotas and government interventionism (also known as attacks) against property rights and free speech.

    This woman is no more qualified for a judgeship than Bill Clinton is qualified to babysit young teenage girls. This is, as with most of his initiatives, a direct attack by Obama on the Rule of Law.

    Notice the blithe way the NYT creep quotes the name of a racist publication, the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal. Using the term “The Race” to imply they are above all others and a race of their own (and the idea that because certain Latin Americans also have some American Indian ancestry that somehow makes them a new race is absurd on its face) is done for the purpose of raising identitarian passions against the American majority, and for promoting revanchist feelings among Mexicans and those who consider themselves their distant relatives. Which works great for hiding the real agenda of tyrants from most people. These loathesome bigots in the media never receive significant criticism for these sorts of assertions, and I’ve yet to see anyone in a position of significant power (such as an editor of a major publication) react appropriately to it.

    And if the probably 100% Spanish-descended Sotomayor is “nonwhite”, then one would have to suppose all of Spain is, too, and that must bring up the question of Portugal, where African slaves and their offspring lived so many centuries among the rest of the population that they blended into the majority and became one with the natives. Shall we pretend they’re a new race, now?

    • Helena

      Hear, hear. Excellent points, RL. Any wedge to break up the electorate into splinter groups whose vague fears can be exploited is a good wedge as far as the left is concerned. Crimes against these groups can’t just be “crimes,” they have to be “hate crimes.”

    • proreason

      “Which works great for hiding the real agenda of tyrants from most people”

      Absolutely correct.

      The cruel ironies are:

      – groups tricked into supporting the totalitarian agenda will be the one’s most abused by the tyrants, and

      – groups under attack are the ones responsible for the country’s success and freedoms….small businesses, churches, the military, local civic organizations, wealth holders, conservative media

    • wardmama4

      I must say I find it ironic – that the globalists (One World Order of peace, justice and kumbaya song fests) are the one’s who cling the most tenaciously to their heritage, culture, and country of origin even if they never even knew that parent or have seen that country.

      Fine – go there and make that Country better – Leave the Melting Pot of Mutts that is America alone.

      I certainly don’t want America to be remade into a version of Africa or Puerto Rico –

      Once again – I have to ask – what language, what religion, what currency – and who gets to decide? How arrogant, how tyrannical to think that you and only you knows what’s best. And how petty.

      As I said, it’s going to be a long, awful 4 years.

  8. jobeth

    “court of appeals is where policy is made.”

    It’s laughable at how the libs keep giving away their “secrets”. (You know the one’s it you ask them straight out if the believe in something they would dance all around the answer) Let them talk long enough and they will say it plain and simple. Their own mouths will give them away.

    Obalmy…”spread the wealth”, and we must not forget the “57 states” (and he isn’t a muslim…umm)
    Biden….Lord, WAY too many gaffs and National sercurity revelations to even talk about here.
    Sotomayor’s…admits that the courts” make policy”

    (I’m sure there are many more, these just come to me off the top of my head.)

    And yet…they cry foul when conservs accuse them of Socialism…altho I do understand that. Truth be told, I’m convinced Obamy want full out communisim, not just socialism.

  9. GL0120

    I’m confused.
    Since liberals are always crying that minorities are discriminated against, wouldn’t a Puerto Rican woman have less life experiences than a white male?

  10. 12 Gauge Rage

    WhiteYouth, Why are you so angry? The First Amendment that gives the liberal the chance to voice his passioned views also affords the same opportunity for the conservative to give an equally impassioned rebuttal. If you view this site often enough you’ll see that not everyone who posts here agree upon everything. But we agree to disagree and remain civil. If you still feel that this site is not to your liking then you’re free to go another where the mindset is more to your liking.

    Yes, there are those who post on this site that give reference to their age being beyond yours but that’s no reason to be disrespectful towards them. Whether you agree with me or not the simple fact is that while you’re presently young, you’re aging as we speak,post, etc. Nobody ever grows young. It’s just a matter of how many steps it takes to get to your grave from the moment you’re born and take your first breath.

    Try to work on your sentence structure. You’ll be able to present your side of the argument a lot better if we can see where one idea begins and ends.

  11. Weber18Janis

    If you are willing to buy real estate, you would have to get the home loans. Moreover, my brother commonly utilizes a sba loan, which seems to be the most useful.


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