Friday, May 29, 2009

I Have A Dream...



10 comments:

Red May 29, 2009 at 2:18 PM  

MLK Jr. is rolling in his grave.

Conservative Scalawag May 29, 2009 at 5:19 PM  

Hell, he is probably jumped out of it and is marching to DC to beat some sense into Obama. For this is not what he worked and fought for.

RightKlik May 29, 2009 at 8:40 PM  

She's an irredeemable racist.

James' Muse May 30, 2009 at 2:34 PM  

Sigh.

She is not a racist. The line about "latina" and "experience" was taken extremely out of context.

Here's most of the entire thing:
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.

Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case. I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues including Brown.

However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Others simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.
She says that she hopes that a latina woman would make a better decision than a white man who won't open his eyes. Not that hispanic women make better decisions than white men. In fact, she says that she believes that white men ARE capable of understanding those outside their gender and race. She’s suggesting that a court of nine white males alone, regardless of their education and training, nevertheless lack the experience of seeing life from the perspective of a non-male or non-white. If those white males don’t (as she says later) “take the time and effort” to “understand the experiences of others,” or if they “simply do not care,” or if they fail to “extrapolate” from their experience to experiences with which they are unfamiliar, their decisions will carry the limited bias of their white male background. In that way, those decisions will be less wise.

James' Muse May 30, 2009 at 2:36 PM  

As for empathy,

"And that's why I went into that in my opening statement. Because when a case comes before me involving, let's say, someone who is an immigrant -- and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases -- I can't help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn't that long ago when they were in that position.



And so it's my job to apply the law. It's not my job to change the law or to bend the law to achieve any result.





But when I look at those cases, I have to say to myself, and I do say to myself, "You know, this could be your grandfather, this could be your grandmother. They were not citizens at one time, and they were people who came to this country.






When I have cases involving children, I can't help but think of my own children and think about my children being treated in the way that children may be treated in the case that's before me.



And that goes down the line. When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender.




And I do take that into account.




When I have a case involving someone who's been subjected to discrimination because of disability, I have to think of people who I've known and admire very greatly who've had disabilities, and I've watched them struggle to overcome the barriers that society puts up often just because it doesn't think of what it's doing -- the barriers that it puts up to them.



So those are some of the experiences that have shaped me as a person."
--Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito

James' Muse May 31, 2009 at 11:33 PM  

Why? Because Rush Limbaugh told you so?

Miss T.C. Shore June 1, 2009 at 3:52 PM  

I make my own decisions based on the facts and I don't listen to Rush.

Miss T.C. Shore June 1, 2009 at 3:55 PM  

You've pretty much said as much in your defense of her. Nine white males sitting as justices can't make an impartial decision. They will make decisions based on their bias.

But, apparently a latina woman CAN make an impartial decision because of her "rich experiences."

I thought the decisions were supposed to be based on the constitution, not on the "richness of our experiences."

James' Muse June 2, 2009 at 1:31 PM  

She said they could make impartial decisions if they want to. She is saying that those who refuse to look beyond their own race will make uniformed decisions. If you read the entire thing she is only referring to those that "won't open their eyes." It wasn't until 1979 that an all white male supreme court actually ruled on the side of civil rights. Those were white men that opened their eyes.

She is saying that she would make a better decision than someone who refuses to look beyond their own biases.

The Constitution is quite gray in many areas, so judges draw upon their experience and precedent to make a wise decision. Having a balanced supreme court is a good supreme court.

Also, Sotomayor has made all of her past decisions on precedent alone, many times ruling on the side of conservatism.

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