Sotomayor's Confirmation Conversion

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.