The Corner

Perhaps a Defense Rather than an Equivocation?

One confusing thing about the Sotomayor examination is the apparent disavowal of her remarks about the advantages a diversity background brings to a judge — to the point of a Latina being a better justice than her white-male counterpart.

The fact that this was not an ad hoc comment, but published, reiterated in various forms throughout the article, and echoed through other public statements would suggest that Justice Sotomayor really does believe in racial exceptionalism. 

That said, one would like her not to parse past statements, but to offer instead a reasoned defense of what are apparently long-held views. I find most disturbing that such advocates publish racialist views in journals with transliterated titles that include phraseology like “The Race” (La Raza), and yet do not carry that pride and confidence into the broader public sphere where such views might be subject to vigorous debate. In other words, I would like a Judge Sotomayor to say, “Look, I’m not going to apologize. For much of my life I’ve believed, spoken, and written about the myth of judicial objectivity divorced from considerations of race, class, and gender. In short, I believe women of color bring intrinsic advantages over white males to the bench, and here is why . . . ”

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