Some notes to conservatives and journalists:
1. Sonia Sotomayor is a judge. It is her job to ask questions. Many judges — including, notably, Antonin Scalia — are known for their assertive styles and difficult questions. Scalia, though, is revered for his blunt style. Sotomayor’s “temperment” is discussed as if she were a racehorse or a dog being bred for certain characteristics. I wonder if a male justice would be regularly described as “strident” and “vocal”? Also, this comment: “She used her questioning to make a point,” he said, “as opposed to really looking for an answer to a question she did not understand” could just as easily describe Scalia or any other sitting Supreme Court justice. Part of the question-asking process is to challenge the attorney’s position, not just to clarify.
3. La Raza is not “a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses.” Also? The hoods and nooses are kind of important factors.
4. Sonia Sotomayor has just about everything one could hope for in a Supreme Court nominee. She was educated at two of the finest academic institutions in the country — and she got there by working her ass off, not through legacy admissions or silver-spoon privilege. She graduated at the top of her class from both places, and served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She worked as a prosecutor in New York City. She has served on the federal district bench and on the Second Circuit. She has heard thousands of cases and written hundreds of opinions. Is she an “affirmative action pick?” Sure, insofar as affirmative action means “casting a wider net so that highly-qualified people other than white men are taken into consideration.” Is she a token, which is what conservatives mean when they use the phrase “affirmative action?” Uh, no. And arguing that such a highly-qualified woman only achieved what she did because of tokenism is absurd and offensive, bordering on delusional.
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