Is Justice Blind? ~ dnd

blind-justice The lashing out at Ms. Sotomayor’s SCOTUS nomination is fascinating.  The current fad is branding her “empathy” as a weakness and an inability to apply law equally to all people.  This argument seizes on a statement she made in 2001 at a speech at Berkeley:

“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.”

What is routinely omitted when using that quote is another statement she made in that speech:

“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.”

The argument that she believes in race based justice, espoused by Rush, Buchanan, Newt, Tancredo,  Krauthammer, et. al., are predicated only on the first statement, not the latter.  Any reasonable person would admit that the second statement is valid.  Bottom line is that the law is not black and white, it’s all shades of gray.  That’s why we have judges, to interpret the law.

This begs the question as to why her judicial philosophy and temperament is not being determined by her long history of decisions.  Much as we’d like, justice is not blind, as all our decisions are colored by our experiences.  But justice does have a good sense of smell, and this line of specious, political criticism stinks.

Post-post update:  Here’s the speech.  Context is everything.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/us/politics/15judge.text.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

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37 Comments

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37 responses to “Is Justice Blind? ~ dnd

  1. trout boy

    with these racist comments the wingnuts are condemning the Republican Party into non-existence. They seem to only know how to shoot themselves in the foot with regards to the Latino vote.

  2. nannymm

    You make an excellent argument, dnd. It seems to me that the “good old white repug boys” think there is only one “right” way to view things: THEIR WAY. To them, any other interpretation is inherently flawed by bias, racism. emotion, liberalism, or some other evil. They are narrow minded with an even narrower world view. If they continue to press their outdated ideas, failed policies, and nasty sentiments they will be holding their next national convention in a pup tent.

  3. “Any reasonable person would admit” But these are not reasonable people. The GOP is controlled by anything but reasonable people.

  4. nannymm

    They wouldn’t know reasonable if it jumped up and bit them.

  5. TempeBev

    With the run for the 2010 primaries about to begin, it will be interesting to see which repugs support, side-step, or disagree the Sotomayor appointment. The Latino vote is becoming more and more important, especially in the SW states. It was great to hear John Cronin of TX denounced the “Drugster.”

  6. nannymm

    Change we can believe in:

    “To better prepare them for life in asylum, the U.S. military is setting up a virtual computer lab for some Guantánamo captives now cleared for release.”
    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation/story/1073991.html?utm_source=The+Stimulist%27s+Daily+Brief&utm_campaign=2939369da1-The_Sweetness_Stimulist_Campaign5_27_2009&utm_medium=email

  7. “It was great to hear John Cronin of TX denounced the “Drugster.””

    Practical politics. Texas just has too large a latino population for Cronin to have sat silently and watched the first latino to the court be dragged over the coals.

  8. nannymm

    “In front of a packed audience tonight at the Times Center in New York City, General Ricardo Sanchez, the former commander of all coalition forces in Iraq, called for a truth commission to investigate the abuses and torture which occurred there.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jack-hidary/general-rick-sanchez-call_b_209573.html

  9. dnd

    Brian,
    Grammar police. Pull over.

    First “Latino” is capitalized. Second, when referring to women, as in Ms Sotomayor, it’s “Latina.”

    We’ll let you off with a warning. This time…

  10. dnd

    Cute kid Brian. Was that you?

  11. dnd

    BTW, for any that want to read Sotomayor’s speech, I updated the post with a link to her speech.

  12. Nope not me, but I do like the way he thinks!

  13. dnd

    One more note on our racial/ethnic cluelessness. In debating Sotomayor, many cite the New Haven Ricci v. DeStefano case. Inevitability they pronounce “Ricci” as “Rich-ee.” It’s pronounced “Ree-key.”

  14. nannymm

    It was great to hear John Cronin of TX denounced the “Drugster.”

    Don’t you (Brian and Bev) mean John Cornyn?

    (yeah, yeah, I know, Brian. You don’t need to post the cute kid again. 😉

  15. nannymm

    So is that one you? Looks more like ya than the cute kid. 🙂

  16. nannymm

    Dumb repugs can’t even see what is in their own best interests:

    “Those in the red states still smarting over Barack Obama’s election victory can perhaps take solace in this: The Democrats’ No. 1 domestic policy initiative, universal health care, is likely to help red America at the expense of blue.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/29/AR2009052901548.html?wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter

  17. nannymm

    Maybe Baucus and and other chicken-shit Dems who are afraid to fight for single payer healthcare will wake up now and find the courage to do what’s right. Single payer healthcare NOW!

    (Care to echo that, eprof?) 😉

  18. from your mouth to god’s ear nanny!

  19. nannymm

    Who knew! Bob Barr apparently has a conscience:

    “THERE is no abuse of government power more egregious than executing an innocent man. But that is exactly what may happen if the United States Supreme Court fails to intervene on behalf of Troy Davis.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/opinion/01barr.html?th&emc=th

  20. dnd

    Now that the government effectively owns GM, I wonder how many more people’s health care is now being covered by the government.

  21. TempeBev

    Ya got me, Nanny – good catch.

  22. EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT FROM ‘RENEGADE’: Obama On Clinton Pick: “I’m Not Begging Her To Take This Job”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/31/exclusive-excerpt-from-re_n_209576.html

  23. dnd

    Why didn’t anybody tell me today’s the first of June?

  24. Cause we hadn’t realized you had deteriorated to the point of needing to be told what day it is. But we’ll keep in mind from now on!

  25. eprof2

    I second the motion, nanny!

  26. eprof2

    dnd, well done post. Now there are two NLW managers out of jobs. In CR’s case, management sells off the best players and still expect Hurdle to win. Baseball is becoming less and less interesting, especially in a losing season without any hope.

  27. dnd

    eprof2,
    Hurdle needed to go, but Rockies GM “dealing” Dan O’Dowd should have been fired years ago. Cookie v. Oswalt tonight.

  28. dnd

    This notion that the Tiller murder was an act of terrorism makes me hope that if the killer is convicted, get’s life in Supermax.

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