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Judge Sotomayor as our supreme Court Judge.

Updated on March 3, 2012
From the project house to the Supreme Court - Judge Sotomayor.
From the project house to the Supreme Court - Judge Sotomayor.

Everything we've learned throughout our lives has influenced our decisions regardless of the facts presented before us.

Judge Sotomayor claimed that "a wise Latina woman" would reach better conclusions than a white man who hasn’t lived the experiences of a Latina woman. My understanding of tJudge Sotomayor statement was that if it is true than the opposite must also be true, “a wise white man” would reach better conclusions than a Latina woman who hasn’t lived the experiences of a white man.

There was no racism in Sotomayor comments; it will always depend on the case that is being judge. For example In the case of Cuellar vs. United States, it was more likely that a white male could have been more familiar with the scenarios that can escalate to money laundering than a Latina colleague such as "Judge Sotomayor". That is to say if we were to look at this presumption on a statistical map, we would have seen that white collar crimes happen in a grand scale and the chances that a Latina woman would be in charge of the whole scheme would be very unlikely.

In which case the "the white male" would have been more likely to derive at a better conclusion than his Latina counterpart "Jude Sotomayor". As it should be known, white collar crimes are more likely to be committed by "white male" who are in position of power than blacks or Latinas. Is this a racial comment? - hell no - if it is than what should we say about Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Now, you can dispute and say that Bernard Madoff was not white, but that wouldn't make the above statement untrue, for the very reason why it is call "white collar crimes" it's because that kind of crime is more likely to be executed at the highest level of supervision. And when you look at the highest level, if your eyes are good you won't find that many Blacks or Latinas there.

"Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said he wants to expand the powers of an already powerful state law called the Martin Act so he can more aggressively prosecute white-collar crime"

Likewise, in a cases like Roe vs. Wage, the likelihood of judge Sotomayor deriving to a more rational conclusion could be more feasible than her counterpart “ white male”. You see, we seem to think that our racial background or gender should not influence our decision as a judge, that’s wrong. It is wrong because If that was the case Johnny Cochran would have settled for a “white judge” and the juries would have been all white. Had that been so,O J Simpson would have gone to jail for murdering his wife, regardless whether the decision was unbalanced.

The reason why we pick juries according to the case that is being viewed says to us that our background has a lot to do with our decisions making process. Since that is the case than why do we seems to think it would have been different when it comes to picking a Supreme Court judge?

The reason why I argued in favor of Sotomayor was never because she was a Latina Woman, but because she was right in her statement. She was not specific enough. Had she said a wise Latina woman would reach better conclusions than a wise white man on the issue of discrimination or better yet abortion, I don’t think the media would have made a big deal out of it.

It is with this comprehension that got us to understand the president claim for saying that his looking for a nominee who understands that justice “isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnotes in a case book.” This is precisely why he cited that his desire is to name someone with empathy for “people’s hopes and struggles.”

This was not to say that a “white Jude” is not capable of showing empathy for people’s hopes and struggles. Some do have that capability even though they have not experienced struggle to the same degree as a Latina would. What’s in relative here, is that our life experiences, struggle and everything we have learned in our lives do influence our decisions regardless of the facts presented before us.

This is where philosophy comes in because during the development of the case many states representatives did argued that empathy for people’s hope for struggle had no place in the court system. This would have been an acceptable answer if cases were not heard by humans. Since human being share the same experiences, feelings and emotions than that left us no choice but to think that regardless of the fact presented before the judge their racial backgrounds, gender, feelings and emotions is going to be part of their decision making process, and that include the juries who are hearing the case.

Since our perception derives from information gathered it tends to influence our judgments, because without our perception we can’t interpret what’s right or wrong. But what is important to know is that the information that influences our perception can go back from the time that we were three years old. And whether we choose to believe it or not this information can influence our decision making process even as a Supreme Court Judge –you dig?

From this analysis we can say a "wise white male" can make better decision than a "wise black male" depending on the information gathered as it relates to his life experiences. A criminal case that involves mountain climbing can be relatively common to a white Jude than a black or Latina Judge. You won't find too many black male climbing mountain or bungee jumping would you? Well, that’s precisely the point that Judge Sotomayor wanted to make, but she just wasn’t specific enough.

Relativity as it pertains to one’s life experiences is the common ground here. Our background shares a direct relationship with the way we think. If you are a child of multi culture the way in which you process information can be more flexible depending on the creditability of the informations you've been expose to . If we burry yourself into one culture than our thinking process may not be as flexible, unless off course we have a big imagination and we're able to dissect information by using logic . Otherwise, to deny ourselves that our experiences do not influence our judgment is precisely why we are politicians.

And besides there is no absolute truth, all truths are relative to prior knowledge. There are all base on a Jury’s perception which depends on information gathered. This is why sometimes a person can falsely be accuse of committing a crime, brought to justice and be found guilty without reasonable doubt when in fact he’s as innocent as Saint Peter.

After all, if our background didn't influence our decision process we might not have had so many innocent people waiting for the death penalty. You've heard the news and the statistics are there to prove it - how many times have we heard an innocent white male convicted of death penalty for a crime which he didn't commit. Now, let me remind you, as much as I love white people, I also love the truth, so lets be Clair, this is not so much about race as it is about the system. Yes! it is true some white people have been falsely accuse to the point of facing the death penalty, but when you look at the statistic, it reads a different note, you cannot compare the two, blacks are at the margin.

So please let us be real with ourselves, and not fight because we get no where when we fight. But at the same time we have to keep in mind that it is not always the police officer, but the system that they are force to work under. We have to keep in mind that the individual himself doesn't need to have negative feelings towards a particular groups, but if the laws within the system gravitates towards that imbalance, conflict between our officers and a particular group of people will be unavoidable.

We should concentrate on what unite us as oppose to the things that divides us. A qualify Latina as our Supreme Court Judge represent the face of America, which is a country that is strengthen by its working class immigrants.


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      great article

    • Coolbreezing profile imageAUTHOR

      James Dubreze 

      9 years ago from New York, New York

      I don't think she has avoided answering any question. Some questions relate to live cases and some of which are pending. She can't elaborate fully on pending cases, especially if she might be one of the judges listening to the deliberation.

      She is a smart woman who is not by-est., yes she may have been a little too confident about her experience and ethnicity, and perhaps that's precisely why she made that comment. But by no way should that devalue her passion and dedication to uphold the laws that founded our constitution.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I read an article today on Sotomayer, and I don't like the fact that she is avoiding questions. I am open minded to anyone until they look like they have something to hide..

      Why is she avoiding answering the controversial questions? Abortion and gun rights are important issues that I agree a Supreme Court nominee should be able to answer honestly.

    • tony0724 profile image


      9 years ago from san diego calif

      Coolbreezing I do not debate the fact that I am the sum total of my life experiences . There Is alot I do agree with you on , do not get me wrong . Truth Is relative . However we are talking about a supreme court justice here . And all I am saying Is when we nominate a Justice , empathy , gender , and race should absolutely have no factor In It whatsoever . Touchy feely Is fine for us regular folk .

           Justice Is supposed to be blind . And the law Is supposed to be Interpreted on a set of cold hard parameters . Feelings have to be thrown out the window . And In a way It was kind of a racist comment she made. But that was years ago , and people change over time . I will give her the benefit of the doubt .

      Oh and Coolbreezing I always enjoy your hubs , thanks for putting out a thought provoking one .

    • Coolbreezing profile imageAUTHOR

      James Dubreze 

      9 years ago from New York, New York

      Hi! Tony how are you -

      My argument focused on whether or not our background and life experiences influence our thoughts and subsequently our decisions process. If you disagree, you must explain why is it then that a lawyer would dismiss a person who is call for jury duty because one of his relatives is a police officer? It is simply because the case evolved a police officer.  Had that person been consider, could the relation he shares with the officer influence his judgment? 

      Since there is no absolute truth can we say what is true is depends on information gathered. What information would you need to collect in order for your mind to interpret the truth of me drinking a cup of coffee? Since that truth is based on information gathered do my life experiences contribute to that truth? 

    • tony0724 profile image


      9 years ago from san diego calif

      Coolbreezing I have to disagree with you on this one . As a mionority myself , I still believe her life experience has no relavence to the position that she Is now being vetted for . It has to be all about her record as a judge and the soundness of her decision making . I have a little Puerto Rican In me too . Does, nt mean I am qualified to be a justice . Law has no place for empathy , It has to be meted out with cold hard fact . And yes sometimes our system fails . But overall It Is better then what we have In other countries .


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