‘Sonia Sotomayor Through the Looking Glass’

by Rich Lowry

In Politico today, I write about Sonia Sotomayor’s opinion in the Michigan affirmative-action case, and the absence of Asian-Americans in her 58-page opus: 

The emotional heart of her decision comes near the end, where she repeats over and over that “race matters.” She notes how a minority can be asked what country he is from, even if his family has been here for generations, and the hurtful effects of other similar “slights,” “snickers” and “silent judgments.”

This passage could be titled, “Micro-aggression comes to the Supreme Court.” Needless to say, such inadvertent offenses can wound people and in a perfect world they would never happen. But what do any of them have to do with college admissions, or the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence?

Sotomayor could have added that “race matters” when you are an Asian-American student who gets rejected from your top school because it discriminates against Asian-Americans to achieve a racial balance considered appropriate by its “race sensitive” administrators.

But for Sotomayor, Asian Americans are the invisible minority.