May 27, 2009

Category: Real Talk

I am Sonia Sotomayor!


Okay well I’m not really Sonia Sotomayor, but I can identify with the 54-year old judge who is poised to become the Supreme Court’s first Hispanic justice and only its third woman.  Firstly, she’s a Boriquena from the Bronx (my hometown) who went to Cardinal Spelman H.S. Supported solely by the wages of her single mom she went on to attend Princeton and then Yale Law where she served as Editor of their Law Review.  And yeah she may be Ivy-League educated, but something tells me she still appreciates the sabór of a simple bowl of rice and beans over foie gras any day. If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Sotomayor would succeed retiring Justice David Souter and would join Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second woman on the current court.

And of course the GOP is in a tizzy over the whole affair. It seems the following comments made by Judge Sotomayor in the past has them very tight. “Our experiences as women and people of color affect our decisions. 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.”

Aware of the backlash she could get and did get she further states, “Court of appeals is where policy is made. I know this is on tape and I should never say that, because we don’t make law.”

It’s funny how they cannot stand for, never mind understand, that a woman of color recognizes the role her ethnicity and femaleness, if you will, play when discernment and perspective are required. Rush Limbaugh and the rest of his cohorts have their Fruit of The Loom in a twisted jumble because of identity politics? Gimme a freakin break! These guys have been using their whiteness and their maleness for decades to filter, interpret and enact Law. When analyzing constitutional issues it is necessary to be fair, objective and unbiased, but it is also just as necessary to be understanding, culturally educated and inspired. I thought the practice of Law was connected to activism– Roe v. Wade, Miranda v. Arizona, Brown v. Board of Education. Now to see much of what I loved about the history of this profession devolve into an idle medium of major corporate firms moving major paper with the brightest moments being Law & Order episodes, Judge Judy letting them have it and the testimony about the pubes on Clarence Thomas’ Coke can, well it’s quite disheartening. I am excited by President Obama’s selection. I’m sure Thurgood Marshall must be smiling now.

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