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Young Sotomayor Accused Firm Of Bias

From a cheering Los Angeles Times:

At Yale, Sotomayor won apology from law firm

In 1978, she complained of bias during her job interview process. And a university panel backed her stance.

By James Oliphant and Andrew Zajac

May 28, 2009

Reporting from Washington — The early White House story line on Sonia Sotomayor emphasizes her pragmatism and a cautious, measured approach to the law developed over a years-long climb from exceedingly modest circumstances to becoming the first Latino nominee to the Supreme Court.

But an incident in the fall of 1978 illustrates another side of Sotomayor. Then a daring and assertive Yale University law student, she took a stand against a white-shoe Washington law firm that could have jeopardized her career.

While interviewing for jobs during her final year of school, she accused the firm, then known as Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge, of discriminating against her by asking questions about the qualifications of Puerto Ricans and other minorities.

Sotomayor’s complaint caused a campus furor. A student-faculty panel found the complaint warranted and ordered Shaw Pittman to write her a letter of apology.

The complaint resulted from a dinner conversation between Sotomayor and a Shaw Pittman partner, Martin Krall. According to news reports at the time, Krall asked her whether she would have been admitted to law school if she were not Puerto Rican and whether law firms did a disservice by hiring minority students with inferior credentials and then firing them a few years later

Reached by telephone Wednesday at his home in Florida, Krall said only, "I’ve got nothing to say. That was 30 years ago."

Shaw Pittman, which merged with Pillsbury Winthrop to form Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in 2005, had much to lose from the episode.

The law school threatened to bar the firm from recruiting from its talent-rich pool of students, an associate dean at the school, James W. Zirkle, said then

Martha Minow, a classmate at Yale and now a professor at Harvard Law School, called Sotomayor’s stand "very courageous."

That was Sotomayor, she said: "Be your own person, and stand up for what you believe in."

Well, if a student-faculty panel found that the law firm was being discriminatory, than it must have been so.

We know that they are the perfect arbiters of such things.

Still, another possible reading of this historical achievement in Ms. Sotomayor’s early life is that she has always had a chip on her shoulder.

The rest of her biography and her statements would tend to confirm this.

The complaint resulted from a dinner conversation between Sotomayor and a Shaw Pittman partner, Martin Krall. According to news reports at the time, Krall asked her whether she would have been admitted to law school if she were not Puerto Rican and whether law firms did a disservice by hiring minority students with inferior credentials and then firing them a few years later.

Worse yet, it sounds very much like Ms. Sotomayor would like to criminalize even the questioning of “Affirmative Action” and “racial preferences.”

Which were certainly appropriated topics for discussion both then and now.

Does Ms. Sotomayor really have the open mind and judicial temperament to be a Supreme Court Justice?

  Update!

From, of all places, the Associated Press:

The two sides of Sotomayor

Sharon Theimer, Associated Press
May 29, 2009

… Discussions about Sotomayor and her ethnicity, gender and tax bracket carry risks for supporters and detractors. Unartful criticism by Republicans risks offending voters they’d like to win. Democrats, likewise, need to be cautious about how they conduct the debate in a nation uncomfortable talking about matters of race and gender.

On ethnicity, Sotomayor herself has recognized — and contributed to — the dichotomy. She proudly highlights her Puerto Rican roots but hasn’t always liked it when others have. She once took issue with a prospective employer who singled her out as a Latina with questions she viewed as offensive yet has shown a keen ethnic consciousness herself.

In a California speech in 2002 now under renewed scrutiny, she remarked that, on a court, “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.”

In that same speech, “A Latina Judge’s Voice,” Sotomayor drew attention to cultural differences between Mexican-Americans and Puerto Rican-Americans, and she narrowed her ethnicity beyond American, Hispanic and Puerto Rican to “Newyorkrican.”

“For those of you on the West Coast who do not know what that term means: I am a born and bred New Yorker of Puerto Rican-born parents who came to the states during World War II,” she explained.

Yet years ago, during a recruiting dinner in law school at Yale, Sotomayor objected when a law firm partner asked whether she would have been admitted to the school if she weren’t Puerto Rican, and whether law firms did a disservice by hiring minority students the firms know are unqualified and will ultimately be fired.

Afterward, Sotomayor confronted the partner about the questions, rejected his insistence that he meant no harm and turned down his invitation for further job interviews. She filed a discrimination complaint against the firm with the university, which could have barred the firm from recruiting on campus. She won a formal apology from the firm

It’s so obvious that even the AP has noticed.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, May 29th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Young Sotomayor Accused Firm Of Bias”

  1. proreason says:

    Like The Moron, people like Ms. Sotomayor see everything through the prism of race.

    And they don’t like anybody they see who doesn’t look like them.

    There’s a word for it.

    Racism.

  2. Howard Roark says:

    And, typical of the left, they are most hypocritical and opportunist. They would toss their mothers into a worker’s camp if it brought legitimacy to their cause.
     
    This one is obviously aware of the gifts she’s received from my country in the way of affirmative action over the years. Hell, she was already peddling that victimhood in her early 20’s, apparently so keyed up and ready for a fight about it that she threatens a discriminatory suit at a damn dinner party! What class.
     
    Knowing her emotional capacity for "confronting" the moral flaw of racism "head-on", why did she hide like a turtle over the Ricci v. DeStefano case, then? She and the other judges in that case hobbled together a one-paragraph, unsigned opinion. Real brave. She’s only capable of seeing injustice when Puerto Rico is involved, apparently.

  3. MinnesotaRush says:

    “Afterward, Sotomayor confronted the partner about the questions, rejected his insistence that he meant no harm and turned down his invitation for further job interviews. She filed a discrimination complaint against the firm with the university, …”

    So this meeting wasn’t about getting a job .. it was about vengeance .. filing a discrimination complaint. Notice .. she “turned down his invitation for further job interviews.”.

    This lib probably figured she hit the jackpot and wasn’t hardly out of school yet. Settle a score and start making a name for herself.

    • catie says:

      Amen to that! She probably saw dollar signs as well. I think it’s a legitimate question. When I was in grad school for my Masters in History there was a black Naval aviator and he said he wished affirmative action would go away too as he always felt that people wondered if he was really qualified to attend Annapolis and then go on to flight school and that was a problem for him. But obviously not for baby Sonya. What a dork. That pic looks like a mug shot.

    • JohnMG says:

      Here’s my interpretation of what that look says, Catie.

      “Go ahead, I dare you, you sonofabitch!”

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    She sounds a bit like a pissed off Mexican to me!!

  5. Confucius says:

    If Ms. Sotomayor was so “daring” and “assertive,” then why didn’t she go to court or the DOJ instead of some namby-pamby student council?

  6. wardmama4 says:

    Her psychosis is further confirmation of her Mental Illness diagnosis (Liberalism)- Her 2000 remark (which now everyone on the Left is attempting to ‘defend’) is racist – because if you simply turn it around –

    Say Judge Judy – (i.e. white) said -, “I would hope that a wise White woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latin/black/Asian male who hasn’t lived that life.”

    She’d been nailed with 45 minutes (such as Senator Kennedy did with the Bork nomination) – without benefit of even a single question. And branded a racist.

    Take it all away – Her stance that the 2nd Amendment does not confer individual gun ownership rights (see DC v Heller for reality) shows that she does not support or defend the Constitution nor citizens rights. No wonder The One ™ chose her.

    Damn Charles Krauthammer for writing – Criticize her then Confirm her – because Elections have consequences. [How moderate of him – I must write Fox to dump his moderate self] This is an appointed life-time position which is to uphold the Constitution and she is not qualified. The One ™ chose her to ‘adjudicate’ his policy and We The People will have no recourse. It is not the time to take the higher road – it is the time to stand up for the Constitution. And then vote No for this Judge who would not even be able to uphold her swearing in oath.

    God Help America – we aren’t even going to survive until 2010, unless someone grows a backbone to stand up against The One ™ and all the destructive things he is doing to America.

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      And while we’re on that subject of oaths ..

      “..who would not even be able to uphold her swearing in oath ..” ..

      o-blah-blah ain’t doing too stellar with his either, ‘ay.

  7. I’ve linked to your post from BlogWatch: Court Judicial Activism … I am working on fisking the white house blog post on Sotomayor. (i’ve referenced your http://sweetness-light.com/archive/more-background-on-sotomayors-racism post ““The differences from the larger society and the problems I faced as a Latina woman didn’t disappear when I left Princeton. I have spent my years since Princeton, while at law school and in my various professional jobs, not feeling completely a part of any of the worlds I inhabit.” ” in the post which I am still working on.

    My rebuilt resume for her has

    1984 to 1992 – Private practice at the firm Pavia and Harcourt, becoming a partner in 1988.

    She was a general civil litigator involved in all facets of commercial work including, real estate, employment, banking, contracts, and agency law. In addition, her practice had a significant concentration in intellectual property law, including trademark, copyright and unfair competition issues. Her typical clients were significant corporations doing international business.

    and under references:

    One of Sotomayor’s former Yale Law School classmates, Robert Klonoff (now Dean of Lewis & Clark Law School), remembers her intellectual toughness from law school: “She would stand up for herself and not be intimidated by anyone.” [Washington Post, 5/7/09]

    One of Sotomayor’s former Yale Law School classmates, Robert Klonoff (now Dean of Lewis & Clark Law School), remembers her intellectual toughness from law school: “She would stand up for herself and not be intimidated by anyone.” [Washington Post, 5/7/09]

    I don’t see any direct connection yet … but a complete biography for her would be of benefit.


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