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It Doesn’t Quite Hang Together

In defending her “Wise Latina” speech this morning Sotomayor said she was trying to “inspire” but it “fell flat.” That requires some follow-up I think.

Why does she think it is inspiring to tell an ethnic group that they have superior insights over other ethnic or racial groups? Does she think that Latinas or Latinos are wiser than other judges? And if not, it seems poor form to tell law students and judges something she does not herself believe to be true.

Moreover, if this zinger fell “flat,” when did she figure it out? She used that line repeatedly, as late as 2004. And the 2001 speech was duplicated for a law review published the following year. Could she not have edited or amended her comments?

Certainly everyone now agrees the comment is unacceptable and conveys bias and ethnic condescension. But someone should ask her when she realized it.


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