Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

Bundy

Bundy
He doesn't believe in obeying the law.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

WHAT JUDGE SOTOMAYOR ACTUALLY SAID

Here is the relevant text from the speech she gave in 2001, and which speech has been used as "evidence" that she's a racist, or as the Hindenberg of Gasbag referred to her "a reverse racist."

The entire speech is here.

When you read this speech, you come away with the knowledge that this woman is highly intelligent, thoughtful, wise, empathetic, and would make a great Supreme Court Justice.

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"In our private conversations, Judge Cedarbaum has pointed out to me that seminal decisions in race and sex discrimination cases have come from Supreme Courts composed exclusively of white males. I agree that this is significant but I also choose to emphasize that the people who argued those cases before the Supreme Court which changed the legal landscape ultimately were largely people of color and women. I recall that Justice Thurgood Marshall, Judge Connie Baker Motley, the first black woman appointed to the federal bench, and others of the NAACP argued Brown v. Board of Education. Similarly, Justice Ginsburg, with other women attorneys, was instrumental in advocating and convincing the Court that equality of work required equality in terms and conditions of employment.


Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O'Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.

Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society.

Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case. I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues including Brown.

However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Other simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.

I also hope that by raising the question today of what difference having more Latinos and Latinas on the bench will make will start your own evaluation. For people of color and women lawyers, what does and should being an ethnic minority mean in your lawyering? For men lawyers, what areas in your experiences and attitudes do you need to work on to make you capable of reaching those great moments of enlightenment which other men in different circumstances have been able to reach. For all of us, how do change the facts that in every task force study of gender and race bias in the courts, women and people of color, lawyers and judges alike, report in significantly higher percentages than white men that their gender and race has shaped their careers, from hiring, retention to promotion and that a statistically significant number of women and minority lawyers and judges, both alike, have experienced bias in the courtroom?

Each day on the bench I learn something new about the judicial process and about being a professional Latina woman in a world that sometimes looks at me with suspicion. I am reminded each day that I render decisions that affect people concretely and that I owe them constant and complete vigilance in checking my assumptions, presumptions and perspectives and ensuring that to the extent that my limited abilities and capabilities permit me, that I reevaluate them and change as circumstances and cases before me requires. I can and do aspire to be greater than the sum total of my experiences but I accept my limitations. I willingly accept that we who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experience and heritage but attempt, as the Supreme Court suggests, continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate.

There is always a danger embedded in relative morality, but since judging is a series of choices that we must make, that I am forced to make, I hope that I can make them by informing myself on the questions I must not avoid asking and continuously pondering. We, I mean all of us in this room, must continue individually and in voices united in organizations that have supported this conference, to think about these questions and to figure out how we go about creating the opportunity for there to be more women and people of color on the bench so we can finally have statistically significant numbers to measure the differences we will and are making.

I am delighted to have been here tonight and extend once again my deepest gratitude to all of you for listening and letting me share my reflections on being a Latina voice on the bench. Thank you."

30 comments:

Ruth said...

What she actually said doesn't have any meaning to the 'opposition', who are also stating unequivocally that her nomination is a triumph of affirmative action. No, their kids weren't summa at P'ton and they will Never forgive her for doing much,much better than they ever could.

James' Muse said...

I posted this same thing on a right-wing blog. Her only response?

"She's still a racist."

MOSTLY KIND AND GENTLE TRUTH101 said...

God forbid anyone actually read what the Judge said when Rush Limbaugh can sum it all up by sayinf she's a racist.



I agree wholeheartedly with Obama on the need for empathy. We see examples in all our own lives in cultural and economic realities.

Expanding on this would be a long post of it's own. I don't want to hijack Shaw's blog. She doesn't need my help anyway.

Frank the Carpenter said...

James' Muse said...
I posted this same thing on a right-wing blog. Her only response?

"She's still a racist."


Well she IS STILL A RACIST!

James' Muse said...

Frank, you obviously can't read. Where does she say racist things?

Christopher said...

Shaw,

Stop by when you can, I've got the smear effort up by the Council of Conservative Citizens, a southern group of radical wingnuts who were courted by the likes of former GOP Senate leader Trent Lott and current GOP presidential hopeful Haley Barbour, against Sonia Sotomayor.

These predominantly white, southern men, must have very small penises because they've done gone and jumped off the cliff.

Sotomayor will be confirmed -- no doubt about it. The louder the Limbaughs and O'Reillys screech, the more convinced I become that they know the end game and when this confirmation process is complete, the Repugs will be even less popular than they are today which is only slightly above swine flu.

libhom said...

Frank the Carpenter: YOU'RE STILL A TROLL. (See, I can use all caps too.)

Patrick M said...

I actually read the whole speech, not just the relevant text, as I'm still working on my post on this. While I'll keep the punchline for my own blog, I can say there is a significant difference between the one-line quote and the whole speech in context.

slwiser2 said...

Christopher said...
Shaw,

Stop by when you can, I've got the smear effort up by the Council of Conservative Citizens, a southern group of radical wingnuts who were courted by the likes of former GOP Senate leader Trent Lott and current GOP presidential hopeful Haley Barbour, against Sonia Sotomayor.

These predominantly white, southern men, must have very small penises because they've done gone and jumped off the cliff.

Sotomayor will be confirmed -- no doubt about it. The louder the Limbaughs and O'Reillys screech, the more convinced I become that they know the end game and when this confirmation process is complete, the Repugs will be even less popular than they are today which is only slightly above swine flu.

________________________________

Is it ONLY predominantly white's and the Limbaughs and O'Reillys that are calling this fraud a racist or is it 1/2 of the United States of American that sees this "Latina" women for what she really is!

Frank the Carpenter said...

Sure she will be appointed; Our politicians are to busy moving their money offshore to even exert energy on this useless argument. Our representatives, know the show is over, and that this plane called America is in a nose-dive, which cannot be reversed. Geitner in China, very telling - why not the Chinese in America for the meeting. In the east appearance is everything - they now know, we are their lapdogs - what does a judge really matter, when the country has been sold out?

Obama has about 6 months of political life before the world sees his folly and the fall of the US. Just like the demorats seized power because of hatred of Bush, the world will hate Obama. US interest rates will be above 12%, unemployment will equal the great depression. The government industries of GM, Chrysler and the Banks will fail faster then they did from the bailouts. The US will be out of money. Social Security will be broke. Our national security will be a joke. The Obama depression will just starting. Meanwhile Obama will dart off spending $300,000 for a date with his wife. Violence in the streets will rival the mexican drug wars. Yes, sit back and watch the destruction of America because you wanted change you can believe in. Belive in it!

John said...

Frank - please come back in 6 months when none of this has happened and give everyone another doomsday forecast.

Arthurstone said...

Oh woe is us.

The collapse of the nation is near.

Again.

Relax Frank. There's work to be done. Lots of it. A couple of useless wars, Reagonomics, deregulation, tax cuts & heaps of good, old fashioned made in the USA greed have all combined to put us in this mess.

But we'll get out of it. We have been through worse before.

Arthurstone said...
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(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Frank, this post is about what Judge Sotomayor said, NOT ABOUT YOU and your silly doomsday rants.

Shaw Kenawe said...

slwiser2 wrote:

"Is it ONLY predominantly white's and the Limbaughs and O'Reillys that are calling this fraud a racist..."

Yes.--S.K.


"...or is it 1/2 of the United States of American that sees this "Latina" women for what she really is!"

No.--S.K.

This has been Progressive Eruptions' version of: "Simple Answers to Simple Questions."

Christopher said...

".....or is it 1/2 of the United States of American that sees this "Latina" women for what she really is!"

Half the United States? Really?

How about backing this idiotic assertion up with facts like the source of this claim?

Christopher said...

"Meanwhile Obama will dart off spending $300,000 for a date with his wife." - Frank the Carpenter

Do you have to work at being this stupid or does it come naturally?

Douchebag, the Motherfucker from Midland was in the White House for 8 years.

During that time, he was on vacation at Camp David but mostly at the Crawford, TX pigfarm, 543 days of the 2,920 days in office.

It's approximately 1,300 miles from Washington DC to the Crawford, TX pigfarm and each time he used Air Force One, it cost the American taxpayer $56,800 per hour. That's 3 times $56,800 one way or $170,400 or $340,800 round trip.

Bush's endless vacations easily cost the American taxpayer well in excess of $30 million dollars over 8 years. Of course, this only matters to those of us who pay income tax, so for lay-abouts like you, its just a number on a blog.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Chris,

Don't confuse Frank the Carpenter with facts when he has conservative talking points to back up is prejudice and disinformation.

Why people like him come here and post those sort of droppings is a mystery, since they're so easily disproven.

Really. Challenging and proving these ideologues wrong is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

I think that the reason the RePUBElicans are throwing around this quote is because they know that their sycophantic listeners/followers won't read the full context of the speech.

These RePUBElicans are mostly sheep with blinders on. So all you have to do to get them to do what you want them to do is to tell them some half truth and off they go foaming at the mouth doing your dirty work.

Patrick M said...

Frank: Id back you up on some of those facts... if you weren't trolling in the first place.

Christopher: Bush's endless vacations easily cost the American taxpayer well in excess of $30 million dollars over 8 years.

So you think Obama's any better on this, or just as wasteful a "motherfucker" as Bush?

HBW: think that the reason the RePUBElicans are throwing around this quote is because they know that their sycophantic listeners/followers won't read the full context of the speech.

You are right on that. Of course, as Shaw has proved in other posts on this subject, that works both ways.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Patrick wrote:

"Do you think Obama's any better on this, or just as wasteful a "motherfucker" as Bush?"

President Obama doesn't have a vacation home. He's living in government housing; and as far as I know, has been to his private home in Chicago, what? once? since his election?

Remember GWBush's silly, wasteful roundtrip to Washington and back to Crawford, Texas, to interfere in the private family decision in the Terri Schiavo case?

Yeah. I'm guessing GWB will hold the all-time record for vacation-besotted presidency for a long, long time.

Those who are squawking over Mr. and Mrs. Obama's date night are nothing but a bunch of WATBs!

Patrick M said...

Shaw: For clarification, I'm responding to the usual insane rantings of Christopher, who is actually worse than you about trying to justify one behavior by a Democrat by lining up the GOP offenders.

I'm not bothered by Bush's trips between Washington and Crawford. I'm also not bothered about the Obama Date Nite. While the Date Nite may have been a little ill-timed due to the financial mess, the hard reality is that it's a necessary evil that we have to pay to transport and protect the leader of our country. And when the Obamas head to Chicago or wherever for some down-time (relatively speaking, because the President is never not on the job) it's because it's a grueling and thankless job, thanks to the opposition that won't stop picking every nit ever conceived (and making fun of Michelle's ass to boot, currently).

Now what this has to do with Judge Sotomayor, I don't know. :)

Christopher said...
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Christopher said...

"So you think Obama's any better on this, or just as wasteful a "motherfucker" as Bush?"

Shaw answered the question quite well, PatrickM.

But I will add, your question is flawed on its merits.

First off, Obama hasn't been in office for 8 years, so to compare him to a lazy, ne'er-do-well like the Motherfucker from Midland is specious.

Obama doesn't have a vacation home in Crawford, TX, or a mommy and daddy living in Houston or Kennebunkport or a coop on the Upper Eastside of Manhattan, to steal away to when the going gets tough.

Also, Bush made generous use of Air Force One to fly the Bush twins to their various drunken romps in Austin and Los Angeles. Another hugely expensive use of taxpayer dollars.

I find it endlessly curious how wingers seem determined to turn Democrats into elites when the fact of the matter is, the genuine elites are Republicans like Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II.

And while I'm at it, I want a refund from Nancy Reagan for bilking the American taxpayer for her $5,000 a pop to astrologer, Joan Quigley. Nutty Witchcraft Nancy should've paid for her psychics out of her spare change.

dmarks said...

"I find it endlessly curious how wingers seem determined to turn Democrats into elites"

Left-wingers you mean? Regardless of who turns Democrats into elites, the fact remains that you will be hard pressed to find a Democrat in the Federal government who is not one of the elite. Same with Republicans.

Christopher said...

Wrong again, dmarks.

The topic here is Bush v. Obama and who squandered more tax dollars on playtime.

Try again.

dmarks said...

Christopher: Looks like you are the wrong one, by the standard of being wrong to go off the topic of Bush vs Obama.

Case in point: "Nutty Witchcraft Nancy" did not have Bush or Obama for a last name.

And I was quite correct (not wrong) to point out that both sides are filled with elites.

Patrick M said...

To clarify again (since you seem to be unable to read), I don't really care about the small change shit, as it's the cost of having a president. But if you're going to bitch about what Bush spent flying over 8 years, then give Obama a pass when he's starting out spending a large chunk after a few months to fly to NYC to have a date (after chastising corporate CEO's for doing similar things), then it smacks of hyper-partisan hypocrisy.

I'm not asking you to like Bush or take Obama out of your mouth. I'm just looking for consistency.

Arthurstone said...

I'm of two minds about the Presidential travel thing. On the one hand it seemed a very good thing George spent as much time out of the office as he did riding his mountain bike and cutting brush as the cameras rolled. I personally never begrudged the expense we bore as I always figured George not at work is George not getting into trouble.

Silly me.

Turns out he left Dick with too much to do.

dmarks said...
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