President Obama has chosen Sonia Sotomayor as his Supreme Court Nominee. The New York Times ran an article on her in May of this year discussing some of her views as a judge. She is quoted in the article as saying (in reference to deciding cases):
“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,”
I am offended by this statement. A person reaches legal conclusions based on the law and their education in the law–not on their ethnic background. To assess the value of a person’s opinion on the basis of their racial or ethnic background is racism. Ms. Sotomayor may regard it as constructive, but it is rasicm. A white male has also lived a life. It may be a different life than hers, but it has equal value, and each life has lessons learned by experience. Legal cases need to be decided on the basis of the law–not on the basis of anyone’s ‘experience’–that is what the courts are suposed to do.
The confirmation hearings on this nominee need to be watched by every American. We have a choice to be either a nation of laws or a nation of ‘experience’ and emotions.
According to today’s New York Post, in its article about Sonia Sotomayor:
“In one of Sotomayor’s most notable decisions, as an appellate judge she sided last year with the city of New Haven, Conn., in a discrimination case brought by white firefighters. The city threw out results of a promotion exam because too few minorities scored high enough. Ironically, that case is now before the Supreme Court.
That ruling has already drawn criticism from conservatives, and is likely to play a role in her confirmation hearing.”