Sotomayor Quits Elite Women-Only Club

Republicans say Belizean Grove membership violates judicial code
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2009 3:12 AM CDT
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor smiles during a meeting with Sen. Orrin Hatch in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington earlier this month.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Sonia Sotomayor has ended her membership in an exclusive women-only club following pressure from GOP lawmakers, Politico reports. Senators suggested the Supreme Court nominee's membership in the Belizean Grove—a 120-strong club of influential women that hosts annual Latin American retreats—violated codes of conduct banning judges from belonging to discriminatory organizations.

Sotomayor maintained that the club did not "invidiously" discriminate against men, but said she didn't want her membership to become a distraction. The Belizean Grove, set up as a female equivalent to the secretive men-only Bohemian Grove society, was little-known before Sotomayor's membership became an issue. The club, whose members include high-ranking women from Wall Street and the military, has now been inundated with membership requests.