Perhaps it will be clear in the transcript, but Sotomayor’s answers to Sen. John Cornyn were frankly hard to follow, verging on incoherent. Her words in the “wise Latina” speech fell flat and were misunderstood, she says. But she says she stands by them. Cornyn zeroed in on the portion of her address in which she talked about “inherent physiological differences,” a cringe-inducing suggestion that different ethnic groups have different intellectual make-ups. She hedges and says she really doesn’t know how it will all play out. So does she subscribe to that view or not? Well, she does stand by her words so your guess is as good as mine.
Cornyn makes a bit of headway on the cursory treatment of Ricci but doesn’t really nail it down. Why such a terse treatment? Well, 75% get the same treatment she says. This, of course, overlooks the court rule that provides that only cases which are not significant in precedential value and on which there is agreement can be treated in this fashion.
My take: she is not swaying anyone who was not predisposed to vote for her and may be solidifying opposition from those who were looking for a persuasive, articulate witness. And her “explanation” of Ricci itself was baffling and inarticulate.