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Soto Saddened By Her People’s Crimes

From the archives of the New York Times:

A Breakthrough Judge: What She Always Wanted


September 25, 1992 

… What Ms. Sotomayor has wanted was to be a judge. Next Friday she is to take the oath for a seat on the Federal court of the Southern District of New York, the first Hispanic American to do so. She will also become one of seven women among the district’s 58 judges.

But what attaches to her name in legal circles is less her breakthrough status than incredulity: Many of her colleagues say that in a time of skepticism about the quality of judicial appointments, Ms. Sotomayor seems too good to be true

On paper, she comes across as a classic overachiever — a child from the Bronx housing projects who graduated summa cum laude from Princeton, became an editor of the Yale Law Journal at Yale Law School, spent five years as a prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney, then developed her substantial civil practice as a commercial litigator.

But it was her pro bono activities that an admiring Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts praised during her wrinkle-free confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in June.

For 12 years she was a top policy maker on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. She was also on the board of the State of New York Mortgage Agency, where she helped provide mortgage insurance coverage to low-income housing and AIDS hospices. In her leisure time she became a founding member of the New York City Campaign Finance Board, which distributes public money for city campaigns

She had intended to become the Puerto Rican Nancy Drew, girl detective. That dream ended at the age of 7, when doctors told her she had diabetes and suggested she pick a more sedate career. She got a new idea from an episode of "Perry Mason" when a prosecutor character on the old television program said he did not mind losing when a defendant turned out to be innocent because his job was about justice.

"I thought, what a wonderful occupation to have," Ms. Sotomayor said. "And I made the quantum leap: If that was the prosecutor’s job, then the guy who made the decision to dismiss the case was the judge. That was what I was going to be."

Even as she speaks of the courts as often the "last refuge for the oppressed," Ms. Sotomayor, who has 400 cases awaiting her, defines a good judge as one who "has the ability to absorb a new area of law quickly, and has a commitment to take control of a case and move it forward." …

Manhattan District Attorney’s office eight years ago, she remembers in detail the victims and the lasting effect that crime had on them. "The saddest crimes for me were the ones that my own people committed against each other," she said. She has received letters from Hispanic people from all walks of life expressing their pride in her confirmation. "I hope there’s some greater comfort about the system to Hispanics because I’m there," she said…

How did she react to a recent appeals court ruling that disqualified Federal Judge H. Lee Sarokin from hearing a suit against tobacco companies because an opinion of his about the case appeared biased?

"I’m aware it will have an effect," she said. "Some judges will feel they don’t have a right to be too passionate."

When Justice Clarence Thomas was introduced at a Second Judicial Circuit conference, was she among those who sat on her hands rather than give him a standing ovation?

"I’ll take the Fifth," she said

Is Ms. Sotomayor a racist?

Although Ms. Sotomayor left the Manhattan District Attorney’s office eight years ago, she remembers in detail the victims and the lasting effect that crime had on them. "The saddest crimes for me were the ones that my own people committed against each other," she said.

Aren’t all crimes equal in their criminality?

By the way, should be painfully clear to all that Ms. Sotomayor is now and has always been fixated on her Puerto Rican/Latina Heritage.

Her speech on ‘Diversity’ at Berkeley printed by La Raza specifically mentions Latina 39 times, Hispanic 6 times, Puerto Rican 6 times. Even her Wikipedia entry mentions Latino 30 times, Hispanic 17, Puerto Rican 24 times.

But she’s not obsessed with her ethnicity.

Not much.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “Soto Saddened By Her People’s Crimes”

  1. Reality Bytes says:

    Remember when American Justice was just blind before CRIPPLED & CRAZY?!

  2. proreason says:

    “I’ll take the Fifth,” she said

    So a potential nominee for the SCOTUS, the second most important position in the government, has declined to comment on an issue that would probably reveal more about her attitudes than any other.

    I guess commenting about the Clarence Thomas lynching is above her pay grade.

  3. MinnesotaRush says:

    “On paper, she comes across as a classic overachiever ..”

    And in reality, she comes across as a racist!

  4. beautyofreason says:

    “The saddest crimes for me were the ones that my own people committed against each other,”

    What does she mean “her people?” She’s an American for goodness’ sake. Americans are “her people.”

    I suppose she’ll never see beyond race colored glasses.

    • Right of the People says:

      That’s the whole point, she doesn’t see herself as an American first, but a Latina who just happens to live in the US. No wonder her and The One get along so well, they are two peas in a pod a couple of America haters.

    • imnewatthis says:

      This woman sickens, angers, disgusts, and frightens me. Does Obama really think a European-American will be able to expect any justice in a case involving “HER people” if Sotomayor is the judge? They certainly won’t feel confident about it if they’ve read much about her.

  5. Petronius says:

    “I’ll take the Fifth,” she said…

    That reminds me. Does anyone know the feminine forms for thug? thugess? thugette? thugesque?

    • proreason says:

      I think the feminine form is “michelle”

    • JohnMG says:

      ……“I’ll take the Fifth,” she said…

      Me too. If she is confirmed, I’ll take the fifth of Jim Beam from the cupboard, and a glass of ice, and retire to the veranda to numb my conciousness!

  6. neocon mom says:

    A bit disappointed in Newt, I am.
    This woman has obviously built her career on what Thomas Sowell called the “new, fashionable racism”. I couldn’t imagine getting hired in the private sector after making so much of my race, gender and ethnicity during the interview. It is as if this woman afraid that her “Hispanicness” will become irrelevant and she’ll join a class of un-hyphenated, indistinct “Americans” like those of Irish, Italian or Hungarian descent.
    I grew up thinking that the point of the civil rights movement was to get people to see past the more superficial qualities of skin color and gender and look at a person’s qualifications. Now we are told someone’s qualifications for the job of Supreme Court Justice are a matter of her race and gender.

    • catie says:

      Neocon Mom, I am not surprised by Newt. I know a lot of people love him but he gives me the heebeejeebees.
      She will be a disaster on the Court but there’s nothing to do to stop it.

    • neocon mom says:

      I wouldn’t be disappointed in Newt if he had never been a significant and effective leader of the conservative movement. He acts more like a member of the political class now than when he was in office!
      I hate being told of the “political reality” that this woman will be confirmed. And a lot of commentators I typically agree with are falling into the trap of saying so. So what if it’s a safe bet she’ll be confirmed. That’s not the point. Can’t those of us outraged by this woman’s comments and decision on the Ricci case speak out, contact our senators? Or must we accept her nomination as a foregone conclusion because the “:numbers” are on her side? Don’t we ultimately constitute “the numbers”?
      In my letter to Senator Bill Nelson I will concede that elections have consequences and that I don’t believe that Obama is likely to pick someone that I would agree with, politically. But this woman has been reversed by SCOTUS more often than not. Other judges have been denied for less. And her racial rhetoric is inflammatory and unsuitable for someone who has so much power over so many Americans. As conservatives derailed Harriet Myers since there were better nominees out there, so too should this woman be denied. Someone more along the lines of William Van Alstyne would be far more appropriate for the high court, and far more palatable to America.

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