Federal judge Sonia Sotomayor could become the first Latina, the third woman, and the next racist appointed to the Supreme Court, if President Obama, who has nominated her, has his way. While the White House would surely like to distract opponents with laptop deals, the truth is that, in a 2001 statement, Sotomayor may have sunk her own ship.
She said, “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.”
This is, of course, in direct contrast to now-retired moderate Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who, prior to becoming the first female Supreme Court justice, said, “I believe that a wise old woman and a wise old man would reach the same conclusion.”
O’Connor’s quote underlines that judges show eschew personal bias and judge on the basis of law and the Constitution. These are values Judge Sotomayor rejects, both in this racially-tinged quote, as well as in numerous other decisions and writings in which she has said that the bench is a place to “make law” rather than interpret it.
While elections have consequences and President Obama is certainly entitled to appoint leftist, activist judges, one might have hoped he wouldn’t go for the most leftist, most activist judge possible, straight out of the gate. And that’s exactly what Judge Sotomayor is.