I'm to the point that I cringe every time a Supreme Court justice retires and a new one is nominated to take his or her place. Whether it's a conservative or liberal nominee, the process of vetting the new candidate is beyond unseemly.
So it is already becoming with President Obama's nominee, Sonia Sotomayor. Her remark, probably one she wishes she never made, about being better equipped to render decisions due to her gender and cultural heritage is being used to ramp up the fight. If you aren't familiar with it, here it is:
“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.
Makes you wince doesn't it.
Well today, the White House which has been under attack from the right over the statement started trying to spin it.
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.
“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.”
The Republicans for their part are painting the remark as racist and comparing her to David Duke. Totally over the top.
Once upon a time, deliberations of future justices by the Senate were handled seriously and more or less with bipartisanship. Also, once upon a time those who aspired to the highest court were more circumspect in their public comments. We certainly aren't evolving.