Just to follow up on Jim’s post, I think the problem with the benign interprtation of Sonia Sotomayor’s controversial Berkeley speech is that she wasn’t just candidly acknowledging that Latina roots would lead a judge to reach different conclusions than a while male counterpart, but “more often than not reach a better conclusion” (emphasis mine). That’s a very important distinction.
It’s true that Sotomayor’s position becomes a bit more nuanced if you read on to the point where she says, “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.” But that still doesn’t explain away the earlier comment.
Text of the full speech is here.
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