Sotomayor Speech

This excerpt from a speech given by Sonia Sotomayor has been getting a lot of play.

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O'Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, 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.

It's funny how if you're a minority--at least, a minority of the non-asian persuasion--your life is "rich" and "vibrant", and you add "diversity".

I'll leave the dissection of the meaning of the quote to the commentariat.

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By saying she may come up

By saying she may come up with a better decision, she implicitely indicates that she agrees judicial decision are commensurable on an absolute scale. This contrast strikingly with the idea that "they can never be a universal definition of wise". While she does not explicitely say so, it feels like the first part of her discourse is influenced by quasi deconstructivist ideas (what is justice anyway, etc).

Not only are her ideas worrying, she completely lacks of coherence. She's not thinking, merely reciting a set of inconstistent beliefs.

Standard left wing one-two attack

Pouring radical skepticism on the claims of its enemies prepares the ground for replacing those claims with its own claims. By all rights, the same radical skepticism should then be poured on its own claims, but in fact anyone who doubts its claims is attacked viciously (e.g. with charges of racism).

Ah I knew you'd say it

Ah I knew you'd say it better than I could.

There's a joke in there somewhere...

"First, . . . there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman . . . "

If there is no universal definition of wise, then how can one be considered a "wise Latina woman"?

Obama just keeps playing the

Obama just keeps playing the politics game with every move he gets to make. I really wonder whether this decision was more about him liking Sotomayor or whether it was to put the GOP in a jam.