Sunday, July 12, 2009

Let's Hear It For A Wise Latina Woman

Tomorrow, confirmation hearings will begin in the Senate for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Republics will make a show, just to show they can.

This morning on Fox News Sunday, Texas Senator John Cornyn questioned Judge Sotomayor's qualifications to be on the Supreme Court partly because of her often quoted comment "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Senator Cornyn strongly believes justice should be blind.

Supreme Court rulings are seldom nine to nothing. What accounts for this difference of opinion? Justices hear the same facts and come to different conclusions, often based on predictable ideological lines. Maybe some of the differences come from life experiences.

Also, there are eight men and one woman currently on the Supreme Court. There have only been two women Supreme Court Justices in our nation's history. This in a country that has about the same number of women citizens as men (actually, today women are in the majority). Those facts would suggest that, historically, male presidents and predominantly male Senates have decided that a man's legal opinion is better than a woman's.

So Senator Cornyn's opinion that the legal system should be blind to characteristics such as gender and race is noble, but these ideals don't seem to apply to the executive and legislative branches when it comes to judicial appointments.

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