Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sotomayor: “Court is where policy is made.”

The greater context does shed better light on the quote. I’m not comforted by the greater context, though. It’s still simply swinging the pendulum completely in the other direction. The view she (properly) derides is based on one thinking they were superior over the other. Her view is based on exactly the same thing, only the opposite side. Judge Sotomayor’s words:

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases... I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, 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.

I agree with the viewpoint with which it sounded like she started. That being that diversity brings balanced decision making (or so it seemed to me). But then goes wrong, I think, by individualizing it and asserting superiority. I would also agree that there is not a universally agreed “wise decision”, but there is a universal “wise decision”.

I’m also not quite sure if I agree with the resignation to experiential, physiological or cultural bias or the resignation to judges making policy. Isn’t that at the root of what she is speaking against? The white male justices were resigned to a certain viewpoint, thus, just go with it. But, as with the above quote, I can see the angle she is taking. I think.

Again, though, all of that simply to come back to the fact that time will flesh out more information. And in the end, we pray, regardless of it being someone who is perfectly in line with our views or not.

No comments: