May 28, 2009

I worked my way through my recordings of Fox News yesterday and all the discussions of what a 'racist' Sonia Sotomayor is for those 2001 remarks about the "wise Latina woman" on the bench, and NOT ONCE did anyone -- even those ostensibly defending her -- mention the most salient fact about these remarks.

Maybe if we repeat the following sentence from Media Matters endlessly it may start to finally penetrate the fog that's issuing from under all those anchors' desks:

In fact, when Sotomayor made that statement, she was specifically discussing the importance of judicial diversity in determining "race and sex discrimination cases."

In that context, what Sotomayor was saying was neither controversial nor even particularly noteworthy -- it is in fact a matter of simple common sense. Of course someone who has lived through the realities of race and sex discrimination will be better attuned to the consequences and realities of the laws that judges will rule upon than someone who has been shielded from those realities.

This is why President Obama mentioned "empathy" when discussing his criteria for a Supreme Court justice: The law is in many ways a tabula rasa, and judges in reality draw on their real-life experiences to form the meat of their judgments. People who have real-life experience dealing with discrimination are naturally going to be better able to penetrate the consequences of their rulings.

Is there anyone on the right capable of understanding this? Can they be any more dishonest in their handling of this matter?

Go read more at Media Matters. They've been doing stellar work on this. Unfortunately, no one else is.

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