This line by Sotomayor has gotten a lot of press:
“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
Greg Sargent finds the full speech from which that quote is taken:
Read in context, it’s clear that Sotomayor was merely saying that it’s inevitable that a judge’s personal race-based and gender-based experiences will impact judging, particularly in race and sex discrimination cases.
As a result, she said, while such formative experiences can be enriching and contribute to wise decisions, a judge should also be aware of them in order to avoid being wholly dominated by them. She vowed “complete vigilance in checking my assumptions, presumptions and perspectives.”
“I can and do aspire to be greater than the sum total of my experiences, but I accept my limitations,” she said the opposite of what critics claim she said.
Dreher admits he was wrong.
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