Magazine June 22, 2009, Issue

States of Mind

Former President Barack Obama arrives with former Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor at the White House, Washington, D.C., May 26, 2009. (Larry Downing/Reuters)
Some notes on Sotomayor, race, and nagging questions of identity

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, is Hispanic. She’d be the first to tell you. Though she might say “Latina,” as in “wise Latina” — her apparent self-description. National Review’s Richard Brookhiser pointed out that a truly wise Latina would never call herself that.

If you doubt the judge’s extreme racial-ethnic self-identification, read her famous, or infamous, 2001 speech at Berkeley. It was published in the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal (cumbersome name). “La Raza,” of course, means The Race. This lets you know what mindset is in play.

On every

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.