Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 14, 2009


Sam Smith

Like any good lawyer, Sonia Sotomayor can take either side of a case - even when it's about something she said. Thus she excused her remark that "a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion" than a white male as a play on words that fell flat. She added: "It was bad because it left an impression that I believed that life experiences commanded a result in a case, but that's clearly not what I do as a judge."

To a writer who is not a lawyer this is pure crap. On the other hand, it means she will get along quite well in Washington because as a wise lawyer with the richness of her experiences she knows how to speak in tongues.

After all, any potential justice who can get headlines around the country because she claims to believe in "fidelity to the law" doesn't have much to worry about. There was a happier time when that was taken for granted.

The truth is that Sotomayer - except for her ethnicity - is an absolutely mundane, even boring, centrist judge from whom no surprises should be expected. Like her appointer, she has been elevated to sanctified status simply because the elite - many decades late - decided it was okay to have someone of her background in such a high position. And she seemed safe.

She has thus benefited from a form of atomized affirmative action that fools a lot of people into thinking there's been a real change.

But as the cops say, that's it, folks. You can leave now. Clear the area. There's no story here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sotomayor's "controversial" remarks have been spun to death. It seems to me that if you look at the composition of the courts, and of Congress, you can see that throughout U.S. history the assumption has been that white males are the most qualified, competent persons to wield power. Her suggestion that this might not always be the case is obviously true. That's it.

July 14, 2009 10:16 PM  
Anonymous ignorance is bliss said...

Obama's handlers chose Sotomayer for the same reason they chose Obama. When she or he is criticised the dumbass betrayed supporters can howl racism or sexism or whatever. Obama is a joke and so is Sotomayer, but keep worrying about the skin color or sex and pay no attention to actual facts whi{:Il.vh might affect younand your children's lives for decades to come.

July 15, 2009 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She was trying to refute the misintrpretations of her comments.

July 17, 2009 3:45 PM  

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