Magazine June 22, 2009, Issue

Judging from Experience

(Roman Genn)
Sonia Sotomayor's rhetoric and rulings give cause for alarm

Sonia Sotomayor was delivering the keynote address at a 2001 academic conference when she said, “Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see.” The speech has become infamous in the days since Pres. Barack Obama nominated her to replace retiring justice David Souter on the United States Supreme Court.

That infamy does not stem, as it should, from Sotomayor’s matter-of-fact acknowledgment that she and many other judges “choose to see” some facts, and to disregard others, based on their “personal experiences”  — which, given the prism through which Sotomayor chooses to view the world, means race and ethnicity. Instead,

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


How It Was

A review of Right Time, Right Place: Coming of Age with William F. Buckley Jr. and the Conservative Movement, by Richard Brookhiser.

The Other O’Connor

There was another Catholic novelist named O’Connor at work in the Fifties and Sixties, and for a time he was both better known and vastly more popular.


The Latest