What They'll Say to Fight Sotomayor

Critics call nominee racially insensitive, lacking intellect
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2009 10:13 AM CDT
Supreme Court choice Sonia Sotomayor speaks to President Barack Obama during yesterday's appearance.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Sonia Sotomayor’s opponents are already polishing their script, Politico reports. They’ll call her radical, racist, and stupid—albeit via softer buzzwords. She’s a “judicial activist” fond of “identity politics,” with a questionable “intellect.” Here are the charges against her:

  • She lacks “intellect”: In a New Republic article, former clerks said Sotomayor is “not that smart.” Supporters say that’s ludicrous; Sotomayor graduated summa cum laude from Princeton, and was a Yale Law Review editor.

  • She’s a “reverse racist”: The New Haven firefighters discrimination case is sure to be a flashpoint, as is Sotomayor’s oft-quoted line that a Latina woman’s experience should, more often than not, lead to better decisions. Supporters say that, in context, the statement and case make sense.
  • She’s an “activist judge”: An old attack, fueled by Sotomayor’s statement that “the Court of Appeals is where policy is made.” Supporters say she was contrasting it with lower courts.