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Sotomayor's Confirmation Conversion

Cal Thomas | Sydicated Columnist | Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sotomayor's Confirmation Conversion

July 16, 2009

Judge Sonia Sotomayor reversed herself on the “wise Latina” woman statement that has stirred so much controversy. You’ll remember she once said a wise Latina woman could decide cases better than a white male. She said yesterday at her confirmation hearings she agrees with former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor that factors other than the Constitution – including the gender of a judge – should not factor into judging. That’s called confirmation conversion when you take a position opposite a previous one to seem less threatening.

Ten years ago, Judge Sotomayor wrote the following for the women’s bar association of New York:  “There is no objective stance, but only a series of perspectives…no neutrality, no escape from choice…in judging. I further accept that our experiences as women will in some way affect our decisions. As aptly stated by Professor Minnow, ‘The aspiration to impartiality is just an aspiration rather than a description because it may suppress the inevitable existence of a perspective.” Notice there is nothing about the constitution in this. Nothing.


Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.