Sotomayor Hits Prosecutor on Racist Comments

'I hope never to see a case like this again'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 25, 2013 10:57 AM CST

(Newser) – The Supreme Court won't be hearing a defendant's appeal in a drug case—but Justice Sonia Sotomayor made her views clear on a federal prosecutor's earlier comments, CNN reports. The prosecutor had said, "You've got African Americans, you've got Hispanics, you've got a bag full of money. Does that tell you—a light bulb doesn't go off in your head and say, 'This is a drug deal?'"

In a statement backed by Justice Stephen Breyer, Sotomayor noted that the remarks were "an affront to the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection of the laws." "It is deeply disappointing to see a representative of the United States resort to this basic tactic more than a decade into the 21st century," she said. "I hope never to see a case like this again." She also slapped the Justice Department for responding to the comments by dubbing them "impolitic."

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor answers a question at Chicago Public Library in Chicago, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor answers a question at Chicago Public Library in Chicago, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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