May 29, 2009

White House concedes Sonia Sotomayor misspoke in 2001 - Carol E. Lee -


White House press secretary Robert Gibbs sought to tamp down criticism over controversial comments Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor made in 2001, regarding whether a Latino judge might render “better” rulings than a white judge, saying the judge would choose different words if she could give her speech all over again. Especially in light of the fact that her word choices in 2001 are very telling and damaging to her cause.

“I think she’d say that her word choice in 2001 was poor,” Gibbs told reporters. “She was simply making the point that personal experiences are relevant to the process of judging, that your personal experiences have a tendency to make you more aware of certain facts in certain cases, that your experiences impact your understanding … and that, on a court that’s collegial, that it can help others that are trying to wrestle with the facts of those cases.”  What “facts” would your life experience  make you more aware of?  I though we were supposed to judge cases on the evidence presented not with a lot of preconceived notions of “empathy” and “fairness”

Gibbs came prepared for the question about the remark, which Sotomayor critics have seized on to call her a racist. The president’s spokesman read a few quotes he had with him on the podium from Justice Samuel A. Alito describing how his heritage informed his work as a judge. What did Judge Alito say that being of Asian descent was helpful in fulfilling his role as judge and that it made him more qualified than a Black Woman, or a Hispanic?

Sotomayor’s comment, made during a 2001 speech to a University of California, Berkeley conference, suggested that her ethnic background would make her a better judge. Can we just skip the pretense that she was NOT picked for her a) Race, B) Gender, and C) political leanings?

“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 said.   Explain to me how that is not bald faced Racism.  She Is saying that her struggles as a Hispanic Woman (bonus points for being in two “groups”) will allow her to have a better ability to weigh facts of a case against the law…

Gibbs sought to temper the comment, walking back her use of the comparative term “better.” AHA it depends on what the definition of “Better” is… more liberal parsing one and two syllable words.

“I think if she had the speech to do all over again, I think she’d change that word,” Obviously because the words she chose are causing her trouble now.  If she was sorry for saying it then, then she could have corrected herself at the time or at any time within the last 8 years.

Gibbs said, adding as he walked away that Sotomayor has said that herself “in discussions with people” 

“With who?” reporters asked.

“People who talk to her,” Gibbs said as he left the briefing room.   People like the president and staff no doubt who do not need her going around acting all racist before her confirmation.

Gibbs also shot down criticism from the right, particularly former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, who today compared Sotomayor to David Duke.

"I don't think you have to be the nominee to find what was said today offensive,” Gibbs said. “It's sort of hard to completely quantify the outrage I think almost anybody would feel at the notion you're being compared to somebody who used to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan. It's amazing.” And yet there are former Klansmen in the Democratic party Right now.  The Dems were on the wrong side of the 1964 civil rights issue, but somehow being racist one way is not as bad as being racist another way.  It seems even Bias is Biased.

White House concedes Sonia Sotomayor misspoke in 2001 - Carol E. Lee -

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