• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Don't Forget Sotomayor's "Inherent Physiological or Cultural Differences"

    Dana Milbank has dubbed them Sotomayor’s “32 words.” And apparently White House press secretary Bob Gibbs “wasn’t prepared” to explain them. Which words are those:

    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.

    Repeatedly press to explain what Sotomayor meant, all Gibbs could reply was: “I think — I — I have confidence in Americans reading not just part of, but the whole statement.”

    That’s a great idea. Let’s read the full paragraph Sotomayor’s 32 words come from:

    Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, 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.

    Sotomayor’s rejection of the notion that women and men would or should come to the same legal conclusions does place the later 32 words in context, damningly so. Putting aside her racial and ethnic stereotypes for a moment, wouldn’t an Hispanic man be disqualified if he made a speech even implying that he thought men made better judicial decisions “more often than not” than women?

    Even so, the “inherent physiological differences” line is the most troubling line of all. What exactly did Sotomayor mean by “inherent physiological differences”? The title of her speech, printed in the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, was “A Latina Judge’s Voice”. So what are the “inherent physiological differences” that Sotomayor hopes would make Latinas better judges then say Asian American men or even white women like Justice O’Connor?

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    22 Responses to Don't Forget Sotomayor's "Inherent Physiological or Cultural Differences"

    1. James Cotter Dalton, says:

      I just heard on FOX news that judge sotomayor signed on to a second circuit opinion that stated that it is settled law that the 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to the States. I don't know if it is settled law but it is absolutely correct that the the framers of the 14th Amendment never intended it to incorporate the Bill of Rights (see justice Frankfurter's opinion in Bartkus v. Illinois as well as statements made by justice Scalia). Which raises a question that Conservatives should be demanding: What then applied the other parts of the Bill of Rights to the States? The answer of course is the fabrications of the justices of the Supreme Court (EG Justice Cardozo's concept of "Ordered Liberty" in Palko V Connecticut). This was the type of judicial activism that Conservatives abhor and would seem to present a rich vein of questioning for judge Sotomayor. Are there any Conservatives at Heritage that are willing to take advantage of this opportunity?

    2. Pingback: Change We Can Believe In: A Racist on the Supreme Court | EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE

    3. Archie Womble says:

      Sotomayor has to be vetted and should be exposed for who she is, irrespective of the fact that she will probably be appointed to the Supreme Court.

      That is their duty to America and that's why they are on the committee.

    4. Barb -mn says:

      She draws attention to her race as if she doesn't accept the fact that her race is equally accepted.

      A judge is unbias, she spoke with clear and present bias.

    5. Barb -mn says:

      One more thing: the government spokespeople do an awful lot of THINKING with no established knowledge of facts.

    6. ROBERT, GEORGIA says:

      REGARDLESS OF RACE, NATIONAL ORIGIN, GENDER OR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS….THE RULE OF LAW GOVERNED BY THE US CONSTITUTION…..NOT TO BE GOVERNED BY OPINION BASED ON LIFESTYLE OR PAST EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!

    7. Keith somewhere in t says:

      Senators need to ask Judge Sotomayor, "What are the “inherent physiological differences” that Sotomayor hopes would make Latinas better judges then say Asian American men or even white women like Justice O’Connor," during the confirmation hearings. WIll the Senate seat a SCOTUS Justice who is expressly racist? If so, our country has moved from our founding principles. Dr. Martin Luther King would grieve at such hypocrisy.

    8. John Roane Sarasota says:

      Why would anyone think/believe/hope the vetting process by the US Congress could make any difference either positive or negative on Judge Sonia Sotomayer’s appointment to the US Supreme Court. These are the same politicians who passed a record spending, 1100 page bill without even reading it. Why would they even consider questioning the President's pick?

      Remember the American Citizens get what they vote for each and every time.

    9. Grace, Florida says:

      I'm surprised Gibbs didn't set us straight on what "she meant to say…………."

    10. jim smith new york says:

      This woman is not qualified, due to her activist stance on many issues. Most likely, she will be confirmed. The trick is to apply a permanent blemish to her record so any vote she makes or writing she issues. Her leftist, biased predispositon to apply emotion, rather than the law, must be attacked anytime her lips are moving.

    11. Jill Hetherington says:

      The statue of justice holding the scales of justice is blindfolded. This means a judge should not judge by their feelings but by the law which is what gives us equal treatment. This nominee is not wearing a blindfold and I pitty a white male either lawyer or defendant that comes before her.

    12. Phil AZ says:

      No question about it. She cannot possibly represent the majority of Americans with these views, let alone the US Constitution.

    13. SOOTHSAYER ONE says:

      SANDBAG

      Sic Tacit Concentarie', this appointment would make four out of nine justices Roman Catholic; ergo, anti-abortion. A Supreme Court Justice communicates and risks excommunication with the Bishop of Rome. This nomination will be sandbagged by Chuck Schumer and Arlen Spector by orders from the George Soros Code Pink radical feminists.

    14. Tom Iowa says:

      The Second Amendment says ( A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free {STATE}, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.) Free STATE, not United States or District of Columbia as Sotomayor says. It was the States that implimented the Federal Government, not the other way around.

      The States, we the people, should take the steps to restructure the Federal Government before it is to late.. 2010 is a good place to start..

    15. Angel, Ohio says:

      She will NOT uphold her oath of office. White, Black, Red, Yellow….. the law should be applied fairly and equally to ALL.

      Here is the oath she will have to take:

      "I, [NAME], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as [TITLE] under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God."

      SO HELP YOU GOD — SONIA SOTOMAYER. Her word will mean nothing once she takes this oath because we will all know that she is lying.

    16. Al, The Villages, Fl says:

      I don't see, at this point, anything that will stop this nomination. I thought I read somewhere that the committee does require at least one member of the opposition party in order to vote the nominee onto the floor. If that's the case, then the republicans could stop any nominee if they decide to do so. Seems to me there was an interview with then Sen Obama in which he lamented the fact that the interpretation of the constitution is such that it restricts the government from doing what it can and should do. Doesn't sound like these radical judges are out of step with his sentiments.

    17. Jukka, MN says:

      You're still under the illusion that we're living in a free nation, rather than an oligarchy controlled by Statists whose only goals are to take over total control of all wealth, decisions about your lives and power for the State and themselves. You’ll need to do much more than posting comments of websites to stop them. Otherwise, the alternative is to lose all your rights that PBO and his fellow travelers consider an affront to their goals of total domination and accept the crumbs they throw you, put on the padded blue jacket that looks like the rest and raise up your iPod loaded with all the speeches of PBO in the air chanting The One’s name like his other mind-numbed robots.

    18. Ray, LA says:

      Much ado is being made by the government these days about how health care needs to be reformed. This nomination of Sotomayer is just the latest example that it is GOVERNMENT that is in need of reform – especially if she is confirmed. "REFORM GOVERNMENT NOW!" should be the rallying cry of conservatives during the 2010 election cycle, before it's too late – as pointed out by Tom from Iowa.

    19. Naveen C. Gupta, NJ says:

      Any judge must judge on 1. Facts of the case as can be ascertained beyond any reasonable doubt 2.within the bounds of the constitution and, 3.within the bounds of law, in spite of , not because of , their own background, inclinations, or politics. If not then not. Past experience is important only to arrive at a conclusion with more speed. Delay can only be akin to denial. "Justice delayed is justice denied".

    20. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      These are not just views,but Flaws in her character as a person who cannot make fair
      and unbiased decisions!This is shown in her
      past!She has no intent to Represent all of
      America!

    21. Pingback: The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room » DAY’S END ROUNDUP

    22. Pingback: FACTS: WHY VOTE AGAINST SOTOMAYOR « FactReal

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×