Bench Memos

Sotomayor Hearing—Cornyn’s Round 1

Senator Cornyn asked Judge Sotomayor about her “wise Latina” speech and her equally bizarre 1996 speech on “Returning Majesty to the Law and Politics.”  Sotomayor continued her pattern of offering implausible, if not deceptive, readings of her own words.  She also didn’t repudiate her notion (in the “wise Latina” speech) that inherent physiological differences among racial and ethnic groups, and between men and women, may affect how judges decide cases.

Cornyn then tried to explore how the White House and other Sotomayor backers were able to give assurances about Sotomayor’s views on abortion. 

Finally, Cornyn turned to the New Haven firefighters case and the dismissive treatment of the claims by Sotomayor and her panel colleagues.  (One minor note:  In support of her contention that she couldn’t have succeeded in burying the plantiffs’ claims, Sotomayor mistakenly contended that the plaintiffs filed a petition for rehearing en banc.  In fact, as Stuart Taylor has explained, the en banc proceedings were evidently initiated by Judge Cabranes.)