Jim Terry
A preponderance or reasonable doubt?
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By Jim Terry
July 21, 2009

"In words are seen the state of mind and character and disposition of the speaker." Plutarch

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee missed an opportunity last week to further explore Judge Sotomayor's statement, "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." That specific quote was made in a speech in 2001 at the University of California, Berkeley, law school. She used variations of that statement several times over a several year period.

Senator Lindsey Graham questioned Sotomayor on the statement and asked her how it would fly if a white male had said something similar comparing his gender and race superiority to a woman or minority. He didn't go far enough.

I wonder how Kim Askew, Chair of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee who appeared before the judiciary panel to endorse the nomination of Judge Sotomayor, or Ramona Romero, President of the Hispanic National Bar Association, who also appeared on behalf of Judge Sotomayor would have responded to the following from a senator on the panel:

    Suppose today we were considering the nomination of a white male and suppose he had said the following on not one occasion, but on several occasions, "I would hope that a wise white man with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a female or minority who hasn't lived that life."

During the hearings Judge Sotomayor said that she regretted her remarks had been misunderstood; her words had failed; they had not worked.

She told Senator John Cornyn of Texas, "It fell flat. And I understand that some people have understood them in a way that I never intended."

But she also said, "I stand by my words."

Apparently, Judge Sotomayor was coached for her appearance before the judiciary committee by former President and Lecher-in-Chief Bill Clinton who lawyered up in defending himself and gave us his famous quote, "It depends upon what the meaning of is is." Perhaps he had not heard the old saw, "He who defends himself in a court of law has a fool for a client."

Judge Sotomayor's "wise Latina" comment promotes gender superiority, racial superiority and elitism.

She said, "I would hope..." (She has an expectation, a longing for, an aspiration.) "...that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences..." (She does condition the gender superiority issue with something all are not gifted with-wisdom. But, she apparently believes a white man or woman, or an Asian man or woman or any other human on earth has no experiences as rich as hers. And that is elitist.) "... would more often than not..." (It is most likely, probable, a preponderance of the time.) "...reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." (Only what she considers her rich experiences would allow her to more often than not reach a better conclusion than those who haven't lived that life.) Sounds pretty straightforward and plain.

Sotomayor said her comment "was bad, because it left an impression that I believed that life experiences commanded a result in a case." She said she had been trying to make a subtler point: "to inspire young Hispanics, Latino students and lawyers to believe that their life experiences added value to the process."

Her explanation, paraphrased, is, "Yes, I said those words, but you don't understand them. They don't really mean what you think they do." Can we see by her treatment of this issue how she may interpret words in a lawsuit before the supreme court? "Yes, the appellant says this in his pleadings, but that is not what he means."

Her explanation that she was attempting to inspire young Latino students, Hispanics and lawyers with her bigoted words for which she now wants a pass highlights the hypocrisy of politics, especially liberal Washington politics.

In 2002 Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, in attempting to "inspire" one hundred year old Senator Strom Thurmond on his birthday said, "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."

A few weeks later, Lott resigned as Senate Majority Leader after being branded a racist by the media and Democrats because of his statement to inspire an old man who ran as president in 1948 as a segregationist. Yet, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia is a former Ku Klux Klansman.

Senator Lindsey Graham, on the first day of the confirmation hearings of Sotomayor said she would be confirmed by the Senate, barring a "meltdown" on her part. That is probably a true statement. But I hope Graham will join the other thirty-nine Republicans in the Senate and vote against her confirmation.

What Republican senators should remember is that by a vote to confirm Sotomayor, they will own her future decisions. And some day when she joins a super liberal majority of the court and tells us that the Second Amendment does not extend to individuals, thereby making instant criminals of 90 million gun owning Americans, those who supported her will own that decision.

Some day, when Sotomayor cites a decision from a court in Indonesia or Venezuela as precedence in the American courts, those who supported her will own that decision.

If we viewed Sotomayor's confirmation hearings as a civil trial, the evidence is clear by a preponderance, that the verdict should be against her.

Senator Cornyn made the charge to the jury when he asked if she is, "...the kind of judge that follows her speeches or the kind of judge that follows the law?"

If the hearings were viewed with the standards of a criminal trial, I have reasonable doubt, based upon her "wise Latina" and other statements she has made over the years that she is the kind of judge that will follow the law.

© Jim Terry

 

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Jim Terry

Jim Terry has worked in Republican grassroots politics for 40 years. Terry was an administrative assistant to a Republican elected official in Dallas for twenty years. In 1996, he ran for and was elected to Justice Court 2 in Dallas County where he served eight years. Contact Jim at tr4guy62@yahoo.com

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