[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Peering Into Sotomayor's Soul

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Peering Into Sotomayor's Soul

Myriam Marquez tells us crazy white (Hispanic) male Republicans that we have it all wrong when it comes to Sonia Sotomayor's controversial comment about being a wise Latina. You see, Marquez looks into Sotomayor's soul and tells us what the soon-to-be Supreme Court justice really meant:

Wisdom imparted by Cuba-born U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, who backs Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor -- despite her controversial ''wise Latina'' quip attacked by GOP conservatives, particularly white male senators, as a huffy proclamation of prejudiced superiority:

''For someone who is of Latin background, personally, I understand what she is trying to say, which is, the richness of her experience forms who she is,'' said the Orlando Republican, who left his homeland alone as a Pedro Pan kid and lived in Catholic foster homes for four years before reuniting with his family in Florida.

``It forms who I am.''

Each one of us creates from our individual experiences a tapestry of who we become -- for good or ill -- filled with joyous colors and pocked by messy indiscretions.

So it is that a Puerto Rican legal whiz kid, who grew up watching Perry Mason on her way out of the projects, can say from her heart that she would hope as a Latina her experiences would matter, perhaps making her wiser than white men.

That's no different than Justice Samuel Alito telling Congress during his confirmation hearing that he could relate to prejudice and discrimination because of his family's Italian immigrant background or Chief Justice John Roberts connecting to working class America by talking about his summer job at a steel mill.

Lost in the political posturing over Sotomayor are all the white American male influences that shaped her, too -- and have shaped all of us.

Excuse me, Ms. Marquez (and Senator Martinez by extension), but I missed the part where Justices Alito and Roberts used their background to imply some sort of superiority over others. To compare their remarks to Sotomayor's "wise Latina" quip that smacked of ethnic superiority is to severely suspend any sense of reason on this particular issue, IMO.


Blogger Burr Deming said...

With respect, the point is bogus. The idea that a different background can provide insight into the facts of a case is not controversial. In fact, it was raised without any stir by Justices Thomas and Alito during their confirmation hearings.

I do see a problem with Judge Sotomayor's nomination that would put Democrats on the spot. But conservative Republicans cannot bring themselves to raise the issue.

8:41 PM, July 19, 2009  
Blogger Jonathan said...

The reason Burr Deming gives on his blog is a good one. Another reason is that she gave evasive answers when Sen. Coburn pressed her about her position on the right to self-defense. As another blogger wrote (possibly re different issues, though the point applies as well in this case), she is either incompetent or she is lying. Either way, she should not be on the SC (or any court).

5:24 AM, July 20, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

So are we then saying that there's no difference between someone's background giving that person a unique vantage point and someone believing that his/her unique background makes them somehow better qualified to make rulings? Unless I'm totally missing something (which is far from out of the question), that's the way I see Sotomayor's remarks vs. Alito/Roberts.

7:25 AM, July 20, 2009  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Robert, I agree with you too. There are many reasons why she shouldn't be on the Court.

8:21 AM, July 21, 2009  

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