Sonia Sotomayor: Supreme Misandrist?
By: Carey Roberts
Does this remark make you want to head for the hills?
â€œI would hope that a wise Caucasian man with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach better conclusion than a Latina woman who hasnâ€™t lived that life.â€
A male faculty member who made such a claim would be laughed off of any college campus. But a slightly-revised version of that remark actually was made at the University of California at Berkeley. This is what Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor had to say at a Law and Cultural Diversity lecture she gave in 2001:
â€œI would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach better conclusion than a white male who hasnâ€™t lived that life.â€
Punctuating that loopy logic, she then opined,
â€œWhether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences,â€¦our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.â€
Physiological or cultural differences? Gender and national origins? Letâ€™s come right out and proclaim it to the rooftops: Having female genitalia and being able to roll your Râ€™s makes you a better judge!
Hereâ€™s another Sotomayor smoker: â€œI simply do not know exactly what the difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.â€
Thatâ€™s right, sheâ€™s admitting that unconscious biases may taint the impartiality of her legal opinions.
And again: â€œI further accept that our experiences as women and people of color affect our decisions. The aspiration to impartiality is just that — itâ€™s an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others.â€
Am I losing it or what? Isnâ€™t she saying because sheâ€™s a woman, impartiality is merely an â€œaspirationâ€?
Apparently that notion was ricocheting through her brain last year when she ruled in a reverse discrimination case involving 19 white firemen in New Haven. It seems that none of the Black firefighters were qualified to be promoted. Sotomayorâ€™s decision? Not allow any of the male firemen to be promoted, either.
Thatâ€™s right, if Kwame and Keisha canâ€™t qualify for an â€˜Aâ€™ in chemistry class, then Jacob and Jennifer will have to settle for a â€˜Câ€™ as well.
Now you can begin to understand why out of the five majority opinions written by Judge Sotomayor and later appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, three of them have already been reversed. And if the Supreme Court sides with the New Haven firemen, as many believes it will, her reversal scorecard will register a dismal four out of six.
So until the Supremes render their decision next month, letâ€™s just cross our fingers and hope no three-alarm blazes break out in New Haven.