Ethnicity Colors Law
Sousa hits a double:
Garvin hits it out of the park:
What worries me is when that pride turns into feelings of superiority, which is the insinuation in Sotomayor's now famous counter to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's well-known assertion that wise old men and wise old women ultimately reach the same conclusions when deciding cases.
In disagreeing with O'Connor, the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, Sotomayor said: ``I would hope 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.''
The statement implies that the lives of one group of people are richer than those of another group, when in reality we're all limited by the bounds of our existence. We can certainly enrich our lives by being exposed to different cultures, listening to diverse ways of thinking and learning from the experiences of others.But, in the end, we each have our own unique experiences; one as real as the other. A Latina's life, in general, is no richer than the life of a white male, or a black woman, or an Asian man; it's just different.
Sotomayor's claim 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'' wasn't some blundering parenthetical reference. It was part of a full-scale repudiation of the idea that the law, or the judges who interpret it, should be color-blind. It even questions whether judicial objectivity is a desirable goal.Sotomayor may very well be qualified enough. But her not-so-disguised feelings about her ethnicity (one that I broadly share with her, by the way) making her superior to a member of a "less ethnically-rich" group really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It shouldn't sit well with any good-intentioned American, either.