“Imagine a judicial nominee said ‘my experience as a white man makes me better than a latina woman,’” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., blogged today.
“Wouldn’t they have to withdraw? New racism is no better than old racism. A white man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw.”
The conservatives are decrying a comment made by Judge Sotomayor in 2001, addressing former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s famous quote that "a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases."
"I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement," Sotomayor said. "First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life."
"Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society,” she said.
(For the full context of the remarks, see HERE.)
Asked about the comments, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, "I think it is probably important for anybody involved in this debate to be exceedingly careful with the way in which they’ve decided to describe different aspects of this impending confirmation. I think we’re satisfied that, when the people of America and the people of the Senate get a chance to look at more than just the blog of a former lawmaker that they’ll come to the same conclusion that the president did.”