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Sotomayor – ‘Affirmative Action Baby’

Buried on page 17 of the New York Times:

Videos Reveal Sotomayor’s Positions on Affirmative Action and Other Issues


June 11, 2009

WASHINGTON — Judge Sonia Sotomayor once described herself as “a product of affirmative action” who was admitted to two Ivy League schools despite scoring lower on standardized tests than many classmates, which she attributed to “cultural biases” that are “built into testing.”

On another occasion, she aligned with conservatives who take a limited view of when international law can be enforced in American courts. But she criticized conservative objections to recent Supreme Court rulings that mention foreign law as being based on a “misunderstanding.”

Those comments were among a trove of videos dating back nearly 25 years that shed new light on Judge Sotomayor’s views. She provided the videos to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week as it prepares for her Supreme Court confirmation hearing next month.

The clips include lengthy remarks about her experiences as an “affirmative action baby” whose lower test scores were overlooked by admissions committees at Princeton University and Yale Law School because, she said, she is Hispanic and had grown up in poor circumstances.

“If we had gone through the traditional numbers route of those institutions, it would have been highly questionable if I would have been accepted,” she said on a panel of three female judges from New York who were discussing women in the judiciary. The video is dated “early 1990s” in Senate records.

Her comments came in the context of explaining why she thought it was “critical that we promote diversity” by appointing more women and members of minorities as judges, and they provoked objections among other panelists who pointed out that she had graduated summa cum laude from Princeton and been an editor on Yale’s law journal.

But Judge Sotomayor insisted that her test scores were sub-par — “though not so far off the mark that I wasn’t able to succeed at those institutions.” Her scores have not been made public.

“With my academic achievement in high school, I was accepted rather readily at Princeton and equally as fast at Yale, but my test scores were not comparable to that of my classmates,” she said. “And that’s been shown by statistics, there are reasons for that. There are cultural biases built into testing, and that was one of the motivations for the concept of affirmative action to try to balance out those effects.”

In the program, Judge Sotomayor also rejected the proposition that minorities must become advocates of “selection by merit alone.” She said diversity improved the legal system — like having a Hispanic judge in a case where a litigant and his family is Hispanic, and who can translate what is happening into Spanish.

“Since I have difficulty defining merit and what merit alone means, and in any context, whether it’s judicial or otherwise, I accept that different experiences in and of itself, bring merit to the system,” she said, adding, “I think it brings to the system more of a sense of fairness when these litigants see people like myself on the bench.”

Judge Sotomayor also mentioned her personal involvement in challenging testing in a 1994 interview. Reflecting on her 12 years on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund before she became a judge, she recalled helping change its policy focus from voting rights and bilingual education to economic issues, like “cases attacking civil service testing and issues of union admissions.”

If she is confirmed, Judge Sotomayor would fill the seat being vacated by Justice David H. Souter, who has voted to uphold affirmative-action programs

Judge Sotomayor also criticized conservative attacks on Supreme Court decisions in recent terms that mentioned foreign law — including decisions striking down the death penalty for juveniles and striking down a Texas law barring sodomy.

“In both those cases the courts were very, very careful to note that they weren’t using that law to decide the American question,” she said. “They were just using that law to help us understand what the concepts meant to other countries, and to help us understand whether our understanding of our own constitutional rights fell into the mainstream of human thinking.”

Gee, her life story really is a lot like Mr. Obama’s (and Mrs. Obama’s).

None of them would be where they are if they had had to get by solely upon merit and their works and achievements.

And despite having been given every advantage, they are bitter and angry. And they are still out for revenge.

If she is confirmed, Judge Sotomayor would fill the seat being vacated by Justice David H. Souter, who has voted to uphold affirmative-action programs.

So none of this matters, because Ms. Sotomayor will be replacing someone else who believed in affirmative action.

Our media seems to think of the Supreme Court like they do Global Warming. That the current status is perfection and cannot be tampered with.

Unless of course it is a change in their favor.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 11th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

20 Responses to “Sotomayor – ‘Affirmative Action Baby’”

  1. Right of the People says:

    I’m surprised she admits that she had inferior test scores. Of course in her mind the tests are created for whites to excel and minorities to fail so she congratulates herself for her “achievements” in spite of this fact.

    She is a true quota baby who couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with the instructions printed on the heel. Steve is correct, her and the walking abortions in the White House got to where they are now only with the benefit of affirmative-action and boy are they pissed about it. It is so typical of weak people who recognize their weakness and are angry because of it and just want to lash out at those who a stronger and better than they are.

    • U NO HOO says:

      “She is a true quota baby who couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with the instructions printed on the heel.”

      Even with the window open.

  2. Melly says:

    Hmmm – I can’t view the video nor can I find it on You Tube…it is available thru the NYT article though, but you have to sit thru a PLI seminar (zzzzzzzz) to hear her Affirtmative Action comments.

    • Steve says:

      Well, it seems to work fine in Firefox, Chrome and Safari. But it does not show up in my version of Internet Explorer 8.

      Which, alas, is all too typical.

      If you go here:

      Video Library Home Page – The New York Times

      You should be able to watch it in a larger format than in the article, and you won’t have any preludes.

    • Melly says:

      It’s up now Steve, for some reason….thanks so much for your kind attention. I off to my email box spreading the word. Wouldn’t know what to do without S & L. :-)

  3. I have often wondered why in the hell anyone would ADMIT to being the “product of affirmative action.”

    Its saying “I wasn’t good enough to stand on my own merits, so they lowered their standards.”

    In our area we have a large native population. The local tribe provides the second largest number of jobs in the region through its casinos, and one would think the respect for such an incredible enterprise would be immense. well, it WOULD BE, but for the unspoken “affirmative action” which rehires the natives (who had been busted for stealing from the operation) multiple times, and then places them in positions of power over the non-natives. (worthy or not)

    I could personally care less if that was the measure used to determine hiring or firing, as it is THEIR business, so it wouldn’t be an issue. But they actually THINK they have the positions because of their ability. One of them, a friend, and my manager at the time was dumbfounded when I explained to him the perception of the non native population which filled the positions they could not fill. He understood almost immediately what it meant in terms of respect, and being able to truly get the best work from the employees. It quite depressed him actually, as it was a “king has no clothes moment” he had never considered.

    We do no favors to anyone when “affirmative” type actions are used to move people in positions vertically. It lessens the respect of those from outside the effort, and quite possibly puts at risk safety and best methods functionality in certain organizations.

    • proreason says:

      “I have often wondered why in the hell anyone would ADMIT to being the “product of affirmative action.”

      Its saying “I wasn’t good enough to stand on my own merits, so they lowered their standards.”


      To paraphrase your more gentle version: “I’m too stupid to compete on my own”

      So now we elevate stupid people to the SCOTUS.

      But hey, they’re in the majority, so I guess they get what they want.

      Atlas IS shrugging.

    • pdsand says:

      In typical liberal fashion, she has flipped it 180 degrees. She’s saying that she was imminently qualified since kindergarten to be queen of princeton and yale, but those racist standardized tests would have kept her out if it had not have been for the benevolence of affirmative action.

    • pdsand says:

      In effect, although affirmative action has gotten her where she is every step of the way, she is saying that the system is working because look what a marvel, Sonia the magnificent is now nominated for the supreme court. She sees the fact that affirmative action has put her where she is today with absolutely no sense of irony.

  4. wardmama4 says:

    I have always wondered about how 2+2 = 4 and 12 inches equal a foot and ________is the verb in the following sentence: John jumped over the dog are racist?

    It does not do a single damn person any good to promote someone simply based upon their color – just read Ms Obama & Ms Sotomayor’s thesis from Princeton – they knew they were out of place (however always blaming it on the ever present ‘Them’).

    Well, it wasn’t me – I was too busy trying to stay in school with passing grades – what arrogance and self-indulgence to think that they are the only ‘people’ who struggle and did not understand in school. But how damn convenient to blame it on whitey.

    How far we’ve come – what’s that line well some animals are more equal than other animals?

  5. Yarddog1 says:

    In an attempt to be politically correct I must comment that this individual is certainly “cosmetically challenged”. Were I talking about mules, I would simply say “butt ugly”.

  6. Barbie says:

    “They were just using that law …to help us understand whether our understanding of our own constitutional rights fell into the mainstream of human thinking.”

    What do you mean by ‘fall into the mainstream of human thinking’, dear poor, discriminated-against, Sonia? Enlighten us with your great (even though you been beat down by the white man your whole life,) raw intellect. The U.S. doesn’t fall into the mainstream of human thinking because the majority of countries and human right thought out there are economical and societal mudholes in comparison to this great country and our great constitution. And since you don’t seem to know this, you poor poor discriminated against victim, perhaps you need to go apply for some other affirmetive action position.

  7. Howard Roark says:

    There’s nothing like an ingrate, is there?

    This great nation that got to where it is because of brilliance, blood, and sacrafice has had to cripple its best runners, lobotomize its best thinkers, and criminalize its most industrious…all for the sake of affirmative action. This resentful, ungrateful, race-pride lummox is so stupid and paralyzed with anger that she actually thinks this, the greatest nation in the history of mankind, deserves to be brought down to the likes of the sewers from which she was plucked by America in the first place.

  8. wardmama4 says:

    Sorry I have sometimers and it really gets me lost in the present now and then. You know what makes the entire ‘racist’ claim on what used to be called ‘achievement’ tests of yesteryear – that the liberals and emos of days gone past screeded on and on about how racist they were and poor _________fill in the blank minority wasn’t able to ‘achieve’ at the same rate as whitey – pure bull and bs. I know because my older sister figured them out – they weren’t based on what was taught (oh maybe some of the questions were worded that way) and they certainly weren’t based on race – it was all a pattern and she figured it out – when they finally set her down at a table with simply a #2 pencil and the test – and no one else there – but watched her – she did about 5 or 10 questions and figured out the pattern and scored another 100%. Of course since then, they are not only racist, but dumbed downed to moroon level.

    She went on to graduate with a double major in History and English with a minor in Russian, got her masters from Harvard (which didn’t admit women back then so she did it through MIT) in library science – and has spent the majority of her adult life on welfare. In addition to the intelligence she also plays the harp and piano well enough to have played with 3 different city symphonies. I guess whoever said there is a fine line between genius and madness knew both my sister and our current President. I’d say the Supreme Court nominee but even she is honest enough to admit that she isn’t brilliant.

    • JohnMG says:

      So as I understand it, she’s a diabetic. Does her attitude that minorities should gain access in spite of their sub-par intelect (compared to their peers) extend to medical school applicants? How would she feel knowing her heart surgeon was a product of affirmative action? Or the firefighters she deferred to? Does she want the pilot who flies that 747 to have gotten his job due to his ethnicity.

      And the other side of the coin is……how does this make those extremely qualified blacks, hispanics, and other minorities who have excelled in their field of endeavor feel, knowing some folks suspect the only reason they are where they are is because of affirmative action and not their genuine hard work and intellect?

  9. canary says:

    JohnMG, Good point, because her racist ruling in the NY Fire Men, was a dangerous to the public action. Instead of the highest trained and tested Fire Men, who would do a better job of putting out fires and saving lifes (EMT training)
    by less qualified, she has endangered citizens. She would rule for a less qualified medical doctor or nurse, who can’t understand language, could lead to major mistakes.

    Sotomayer and her brother grew up going to private Catholic schools and she had a set of encylopedias, so that gave her above schooling prior to college.
    I guess her admitting is playing the ‘I feel your pain’ game Obama used.

    I’m guessing Obama got into private Hawaii prep school, “private” CA Occidental College of Liberal Arts. Explains his joining their theater to get into acting, by using his Indonesia citizenship & registration and his adopted father’s last name. He wrote in his book prior to college, his mother chewed him out, for drugs, dropping grades, and told Obama he could get into “any” college he wanted. He said he went to Occidental because a girl he’d met in Hawaii was from Brentwood. Once there he goes into more partys, drugs, drinking, a hazed life. After two years, when he arrived in NYC to go to Columbia he didn’t have money, and slept in an alley first night. Moved in with a muslim he somehow allready new, and so to start at University of Columbia with no money, probaby meant full scholarship.

  10. beautyofreason says:

    Aww, poor baby couldn’t get ahead without “moronized” test scores and unfair quotas. Wonder what the smart kids think whose spots were bumped to let in someone who could tick “hispanic” on their intro exam.

    I’m the child of a parent from the Dominican Republic and my 3.9 college GPA didn’t come from pretending to be an inferior disadvantaged subgroup in need of government hand-me-downs and lowered standards.

    The very concepts that Sotomayor upholds are elemental in keeping minorities in constant tension with other groups by insuring they will never see themselves outside of race/ethno squabbling. And the fight will never change – the Dems can’t afford to lose their special interest racism so in 10, 20, 50 years from now their party will still divide people based on race / ethnicity and play with those people wearing kid gloves. “We know who’s running the plantation” Hillary, etc.

    The concept that Sotomayor has been disadvantaged by being raised under hard working parents in New York City is laughable. Blaming “cultural biases” for her own ineptitude at scoring is beyond insulting. People like her will always nurture victim hood based on past prejudices and view their chosen reliance on the government dole as an extension of prejudice.

    It’s all mine, I’m entitled, dumb down my tests so I can compete with the non-hispanics! Entitlements based on hatred, anti-American sentiments and “poor me” syndrome are not progress. I say Bah – humbug!

    I’m of the opinion that Sotomayor would not have gotten very far if her test scores had been evaluated fairly instead of passed on racial / ethnic grounds. I think that’s true of her life, too. She’s certainly not Supreme Court material.

  11. Lurkin_no_mo says:

    Don’t wanna be like you. Don’t know if very many of the good folks on this site would wanna be or even wish to be like you.
    Hey, viva la olberwusey, viva la Madcow, viva la ACORN. Isn’t that where you get your “marching orders”, or did you come up with this brilliant little post all by your lonesome in mom’s basement?
    Slavery died over 140 years ago. Segregation ended over 40 years ago. Explain what you mean by “phony civil rights”. There’s a whole bunch of non-white folks in very high paying jobs and positions. I’ve got a team supervisor who is black, our acting community commander is black, and you wanna know how they got there? Through hard work, not because of their ethnicity.
    I graduated from a university with two degrees, but then I wasn’t 2d in my class… I didn’t have none of dat affirmitive actions or govmint money to hep me. Well, okay, truthfully I did get the GI Bill, but I EARNED that, it wasn’t given to me because of the color of my skin.

  12. Equal pay for equal work seems appropriate. Would YOU admit to that?

    How about equal REWARD for equal WORK.. Would you agree to that?

    Yes or no answers are appropriate.

    How about this.. Does being a minority make you a LESS worthy individual, or a MORE worthy individual? ..No answer? or must it be nuanced with all of the transgressions to that minority or specialized segment in the past? If you paid attention, and actually read the words here, you might realize that in this particualr S&L community, the participants are blacks, hispanics, women, whites etc.. the list goes on.

    And further, is LOGIC “simple minded?” I imagine THAT is essentially the problem with KOS types like yourself. The synaptic patterns get all jumbled up and then all you can do is spout the left over vomit your masters there feed you.

    Here is the deal Mr deep thinker, you might be surprised, but it is purely racist to give a preference to someone based on the color of their skin, whether that preference is a curve in grades, or a position someone else might be more qualified to receive. THAT is simple. simple to understand.

  13. curvyred says:

    The soft bigotry of low expectations that Affirmative action is seems to cause the benefactors of it to become bitter.

    I would never want to be given something I did not earn and deep down inside I think they realize they did not earn it – in fact it seems as if SotoB is bragging about it – has she no pride?

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