Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor’s View of Judging

Sotomayor’s View of Judging Is on the Record - NYTimes.com

"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." -2001
Taken out of context, this quote really is offensive. I wonder whether, heard in the context of the speech from which it came, it sounds any less offensive.

"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." -2001, speech at Berkeley
Does this mean that Judge Sotomayor believes judges must do their best to exercise objectivity in interpreting the law, overcoming their personal background? Or does she mean that judges should permit their "gender and national origins" to bear on their judgment?

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." -2005
Do we know? Does she really believe, four years after this speech, that the Constitution establishes courts to be "where policy is made"? Judge Sotomayor seems embarrassed to be caught on tape making this statement, and quickly claims she's not "promoting" or "advocating" this view. But she doesn't reject or denounce the view. She's just, -you know...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for Your comments! (Comments are moderated and usually approved the same day.)