The Law Professors’ Report on U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor: On the Merits
Hispanic National Bar Association Journal of Law & Policy, Vol. 2, p. 46, 2010
Posted: 22 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 13, 2010
While the country acknowledged that the nomination of the first Latina to sit on the Supreme Court reflected a huge step forwarding their country’s struggle with racial and ethnic equality, the treatment of the nominee also revealed the continuing effects of this country’s legacy of prejudice towards Latinas and Latinos, and its failure to recognize and appreciate the position of Latinos and Latinos in this country’s history.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the target of various political attacks. At times it appeared that her qualifications and character were challenged not just on the merits, but on stereotypes steeped in ethnic, racial and gender inequality. The Hispanic National Bar Association issued a report recommending her confirmation, which was based in part on a report by several law professors on Justice Sotomayor’s judicial record (the “Law Professors' Report”).
The law professors made an independent assessment of the nominee’s decision. The singular guiding approach to the work was that the assessment would be an unbiased, careful and critical review and assessment. Several common themes are found in the Law Professors’ Report: the nominee’s writing evinced a thorough understanding of complex legal issues and a mastery of factual records, the nominee masterfully deployed facts to support her opinions, the nominee was moderate in her approach to the law, the nominee preferred to move the law slowly and methodically through its paces, and despite the nominee’s career as a prosecutor, she sided with the government no more often than her peers on the Second Circuit.
Keywords: Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court, Latinas, Gender, Inequality, Race
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