Judiciary

In Sotomayor’s Own Words

President Obama on Tuesday nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be on the Supreme Court. Here are some provocative statements she has made in the past.

  • “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

  • "I 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.”
  • “I willingly accept that we who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experience and heritage but attempt, as the Supreme Court suggests, continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies, and prejudices are appropriate.”
  • “America has a deeply confused image of itself that is in perpetual tension. We are nation that takes pride in our ethnic diversity, recognizing its importance in shaping our society and in adding richness to its existence.Yet, we simultaneously insist that we can and must function and live in a race and color-blind way that ignore these very differences that in other contexts we laud… Many of us struggle with this tension and attempt to maintain and promote our cultural and ethnic identities in a society that is often ambivalent about how to deal with differences.”
  • “I wonder whether by ignoring our differences as women or men of color we do a disservice both to the law and society.”
  • “I further accept that our experiences as women and people of color affect our decisions. The aspiration to impartiality is just that — it’s an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others.”
  • “All of the Legal Defense Funds out there — they’re looking for people with Court of Appeals experience. Because it is — Court of Appeals is where policy is made. And I know, and I know, that this is on tape, and I should never say that. Because we don’t ‘make law.’ ”
  • “Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.”

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