Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Some Thoughts on Kagan, Sotomayor, and Race

Over at PrawfsBlawg, I've posted a few short thoughts on the role of race in facilitating opposition to Sotomayor's nomination. Here's a taste:

By this time last year, merely a week after [Sotomayor's] nomination was announced, we had been treated to over 600 stories in what Lexis/Nexis defines as "major newspapers" concerning her "wise Latina" remark and the ridiculous question whether that proved that Sotomayor was a "racist." Her credentials and intelligence had been impugned as the consequences of affirmative action and grade inflation at Princeton. She had endured a firestorm of conservative criticism over a per curiam opinion in the Ricci case. In other words, the first nomination of a Latina to the Supreme Court was met with extreme resistance by conservatives, who immediately went on the offensive, attacking Sotomayor within days of her nomination in terms that explicitly played on racial fears and stereotypes about the intelligence of Latinos.

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