Sotomayor Walks Back ‘Wise Latina,’ Defends Ricci


It didn’t take long in today’s round of questioning for Sonia Sotomayor to address the only two issues that anyone has really talked about leading up to the confirmation hearings. The first was her now-notorious remark that a wise Latina woman could reach a better conclusion than a judge that doesn’t have her experiences. Rush, Newt, and others cried “Racist!” President Obama said it was a poor choice of words, but only now has Sotomayor had the opportunity to defend herself. “I want to state up front, unequivocally and without doubt, that I do not believe any racial, gender, or ethnic group has an advantage in sound judging,” she told Democratic senator Patrick Leahy. She explained that she was simply trying to inspire groups of young female or Latino lawyers, but that she had indeed expressed her thoughts poorly. “It was bad,” she admitted. The other controversial issue was her ruling on the Ricci case, involving the scrapping of a promotion test because minority firefighters mostly didn’t pass, which the Supreme Court recently overturned in a 5–4 decision. Sotomayor said she was only following precedent, as, you know, judges are prone to do. Great, so these issues are all settled now? Ha, no.