Sotomayor Wise, Disingenuous Latina

I’m in rare agreement with John Hinderaker in finding Sonia Sotomayor’s explanation for her infamous “wise Latina” line less than plausible.

I want to state up front, unequivocally and without doubt, I do not believe that any ethnic, racial or gender group has an advantage in sound judging. I do believe that every person has an equal opportunity to be a good and wise judge regardless of their background or life experiences.

What — the words that I use, I used agreeing with the sentiment that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was attempting to convey. I understood that sentiment to be what I just spoke about, which is that both men and women were equally capable of being wise and fair judges.

Of course she was disagreeing with Sandra Day O’Connor.  Of course she was arguing that someone with her background would be more able to empathize with women, minorities, and the underprivileged than your average rich white boy who grew up to be a judge.  Why deny the obvious, especially when it’s so obvious as to be banal?

What’s more fascinating to me than this controversy, though, is that so many bloggers and Twitterers are closely following the hearings as if they were other than a mere formality on the road to all-but-certain confirmation.  As Senator Lindsey Graham put it to her yesterday, “Unless you have a complete meltdown, you’re going to get confirmed.”

Why pretend otherwise?

Photo: Reuters Pictures

FILED UNDER: Gender Issues, Law and the Courts, Race and Politics, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Triumph says:

    This lady is an affirmative action baby who hasn’t done nothing.

    She is a total racist.

    I found it interesting that her favorite Supreme Court Justice in history was Roger Taney–expect Taney – type of logic to flow from her “wise” brain.

  2. odograph says:

    As Alex Tabarrok pointed out, run over to Intrade and see if this ‘drama’ is worth covering.

    With 98% odds of confirmation … I don’t think there can be much to the opposing arguments.

  3. Drew says:

    She said she was trying to “inspire” her audience.

    I can understand that. Just the other day I was speaking to a group of WASPy private equity wannabees. And I told them I was sure they’d make better investors than a bunch of WOPS, hebes, wetbacks and ghetto monkeys.

    Inspiring, eh?!

  4. hcantrall says:

    lol Drew

  5. DL says:

    Gee, and no one asked her about Obama’s legal doctrine of any baby that escapes the abortionist is then executed (what other euphamism can you use when the state orders it?)based upon the mother’s …ta! ta!…Intent. How long Sonia does intent to abort apply -10 years -20 years?

  6. odograph says:

    We just all need to be happy with our heritages while letting other people be happy with theirs. Sonia can say the court needs wise Latinas, while I could say that the court need Bloody Vikings. It’s all good.

  7. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Looks to me like she flat out lied. But then, look who appointed her to the SCOTUS.

  8. G.A.Phillips says:

    We just all need to be happy with our heritages while letting other people be happy with theirs. Sonia can say the court needs wise Latinas, while I could say that the court need Bloody Vikings. It’s all good.

    mines American!!!! how about you?

    You say what you believe, so does she….

    What do liberals believe in lol, I think I have a clue…..Bringing it on…………….
    How soon will the darkness they worship consumes us all?
    How nice is it to be able to ask this question….
    enjoy it will it lasts………

  9. G.A.Phillips says:

    Know in all reality I wish you liberal people had a brain instead of a Bumper sticker, but hey at lest listen and ******* learn sumtin?

  10. G.A.Phillips says:

    And to all you people, all those who will not listen, your side of the fence has got a big *** whole in it, and It its supported by things that shall not be named…….

  11. G.A.Phillips says:

    And **** it! My birthday is on Friday, And I know That I am still alive by the grace of God who>>>>> loves me because I became his child from my own choice>>>>>>>>>>>>Begotten beloved for what I’m am in spite of what I was and still can not free my soul from being!!!!!

    **** us all we deserve it, but what do you know he still loves his choicely creations even before they evolve, lol ….

  12. G.A.Phillips says:

    It is I, or is it you???? Or perhapses all of our our punk *****, lol, who cares, **** I do, lol that sucks, Oh well…..

  13. G.A.Phillips says:

    ****, you posers bore me, but then again it’s only by my conviction that makes me love you or is it, A ******* conscious sucks, I admire mine But don’t mostly listen to it, still I expect you to…. lol, hypocrite or dumb****, or both, you be the judge, or hell from the green blue cursed pisser of **** we live on maybe some one who is stupider then me can be the judge???

  14. Our Paul says:

    intellectualshas said anything to Triumph (July 14, 2009 | 02:54 pm) comment, so I will say this:

    Institutes of higher learning, be they Community Colleges, Regional Colleges, or Universities are scholars who have banded together with a singular goal: to expand their knowledge base through inquiry and research, to share that knowledge base among themselves and their students, and to find a way to reproduce themselves so that knowledge is preserved into the future.

    They are what monasteries where in the middle age, repositories of knowledge and in their libraries and teachers hold our past, and project it into the future.

    It has always struck me as major weakness that the Center Right Intelligencia remains tongue tied whenever hubs of Higher Learning are under attack. Ideological purity is not the function of a University, expansions of knowledge and its dissemination is. Thus it came as no surprise when the “brains” of the conservative movement remained silent, or actually pilloried the University of Notre Dame for granting President Obama an honorary degree. That the Center Right has attacked “pointed head intellectuals” since the days of Nixon is beyond dispute.

    But let me tell you that this is unacceptable:

    This lady is an affirmative action baby who hasn’t done nothing.

    She is a total racist.

    At Princeton Judge Sotomayor graduated summa cum laude, at Yale Law School she edited the Universities Law Journal. Those are accolades that in a Community of Scholars are not handed out because you are Puerto Rican. The same charges of being an “affirmative action baby” were hurled at Obama during the election.

    Screw your heads on tight guys. Disagree with Sotomyer on your pick of the approximate 380 opinions she has written, but do not bloviate about a speech she may have given.

  15. Many crazy people in the above comments. Did Free Republic link or something?

  16. kth says:

    still trying to figure out what Iron Maiden or their lead singer’s solo work have to do with Sonia Sotomayor…probably shouldn’t ask…always did kind of like “Flight of Icarus” though…

  17. Boyd says:

    Paul, Triumph is a liberal hippie commie pinko f…oops, I’ll have to stop with pinko. He amuses himself by posting what he thinks is satire on the conservative position on issues.

    Most have learned to just ignore him, since he routinely contributes absolutely nothing of substance to the conversation. Just for him, I’ve forced myself to pay attention to the name associated with each comment, just so I can skip his and hopefully find one worth reading (although I’ve got to learn to ignore G.A.’s comments, too).

    And now you’ve gone and made me read another one of his “contributions.” Gah!

  18. odograph says: