Skip to comments.Obama pick faced discrimination [Sotomayor]
Posted on 05/26/2009 2:03:38 PM PDT by Jim Robinson
Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's first pick for the Supreme Court, got some real-world experience fighting discrimination before she ever heard a case as a judge.
As a law student at Yale, she turned down a high-profile job with the powerful Washington law firm Shaw, Pittman, Potts and Trowbridge to protest questions during the recruitment process about her Hispanic heritage, according to a report in The Washington Post from 1978. The daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, Judge Sotomayor would be the first Hispanic to serve on the high court if confirmed.
A student-faculty tribunal found that during a recruitment dinner one of the Washington firm's lawyers discriminated against her by asking whether she had been "culturally deprived" by her heritage.
Mr. Obama introduced Judge Sotomayor as a candidate with the "common touch" and "experience" he is seeking for the nation's highest court but did not mention the 1978 incident. Ms. Sotomayor has served on the U.S Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit since 1998.
According to the contemporary news account of the tribunal's findings, a Shaw, Pittman lawyer asked Judge Sotomayor: "'Do law firms do a disservice by hiring minority students who the firms know do not have the necessary credentials and will then fire in three to four years? Would [you] have been admitted to the law school if [you] were not a Puerto Rican? [Were you] culturally deprived?"
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com:80 ...
Ahh, poor liberal baby. Although, I have to wonder how rough it was for her, considering she came out of an Ivy League school, rather than a state school, like most true Americans.
What about people who face discrimination for being fat, ugly, and/or genetically predisposed to sexual deviance? When will their time come?
“The daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants...”
Puerto Ricans are not immigrants.
First ... our task in the present proceeding is not to determine whether the provision at issue is wise or sound as a matter of policy or whether we, as individuals, believe it should be a part of the California Constitution. Regardless of our views as individuals on this question of policy, we recognize as judges and as a court our responsibility to confine our consideration to a determination of the constitutional validity and legal effect of the measure in question. It bears emphasis in this regard that our role is limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our own personal beliefs and values.Her own experience might serve her well when hearing oral arguments and spotting bovine excrement, but it would and should add nothing to her deliberative process in her current or proposed positions.
I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you!
My parents did not have much education but they sacrificed to help me through college. I am in agreement with Sotomayor
on this one. If someone asked me if I was culturally deprived I would have told them to go pound sand and walked out. We could not afford trips to the opera and concerts but we traveled
a lot and my dad used 1/2 of his vacation time to be with me at scout camp for the week. I could go on but I think many of us on this site have worked hard to succeed and had parents to help us. I did not hang out with Buffy, Muffy, and Biff at the club.
So, she wants to attain a power position to implement HER racism and discrimination...
‘What about people who face discrimination for being fat, ugly, and/or genetically predisposed to sexual deviance?’
Hey, leave my ex-wife out of this! :-)
Everybody faces discrimination of one kind or another.
But in her case, it qualifies her to sit on the Supreme Court.
Is this a great country, or what?
What goofy principle is this? Conservatives should prefer the private over the public sector except when it comes to college, when going to a state school is the sign of being a true American? I attended an Ivy undergrad (Harvard) and a flagship state school (U of I at Urbana) grad, and my impression was that the Harvard undergrads were smarter *on average*. Is saying that some colleges have smarter grads than others *on average* or that brains matter "elitist"?
Some idiots (which includes the leftist media) believe PR is a foreign country. Guess since my parents moved with me to Tennessee, that makes mine “New York immigrants.”
She has a compelling life story, but still ends up as a racist kook who doesn’t understand the Law, when all is said and done.
You know, Rush Limbaugh has a really compelling life’s story ....
She says she’s “an ordinary person given extraordinary experiences and opportunities”: I would rather have the reverse when it comes to the Supreme Court.
Ginsberg will move on soon.
How discriminated against could she have been since she must have been offered the job in order to turn it down?
Sounds like a somewhat awkward statement some partner made in trying to keep up with the tricky conversation she would have had the upper hand in.
Not at all, what I’m saying is that there is a perceived notion regarding Ivy League grads that they are somehow “superior”.
Besides, from what I paid to attend a state school, it did feel like paying for a private institution.
My father once had a black lab assistant who was very nice and competent in her job. She almost broke down and cried once when he gave her a sincere and well-deserved compliment because she said, up to that point, everyone had assumed she was an affirmative action hire and nobody assumed she had a brain.
It’s be nice to see some GoP’Nads show up for the comfirmation hearing. seeing as how we don’t have aRlen anymore.. (boo hoo)
Hmmm. When I graduated from college, I was discriminated against in job opportunities because I was a white male. Does this mean I can lobby the Kenyan Mussolini for a job too?
Why wouldn’t you just answer the question? I came from a modest background (I was the first in my family to get a college degree and my husband paid for most of it, while also supporting a young family and getting his own degree and MBA). If someone asked me a question like that I would answer it, but then, I don’t go around trying to find things to be insulted about. Perhaps I’m missing the boat!
And then she subsequently said her Hispanic heritage gave her a better viewpoint on the impact of the law than white males.
Can't have it both ways, hon...
Oh, that's right ... you're a liberal. Two-faced is your nature.
Other than the fact that she’s got a law degree I think maybe I have a broader life experience than she does. Perhaps I should write to Obama and nominate myself! (and actually, in the name of diversity, shouldn’t we have some Supreme Court judges who DO NOT have education in the field of law? I mean, it gives me a way fresher perspective!)
“Everybody faces discrimination of one kind or another.”
She thinks she had it tough, try being a conservative and finding a TV show or a movie you can watch...
You mean Kinky Spalding.
I don’t look for things to be insulted about and am for the most part thick skinned. But there is something about that question
that rubbed me the wrong way.
Just what we need. Someone with a huge chip on her shoulder to sit on the Supreme Court.
As to her apparent judicial philosophy, she and I part ways. Whatever discrimination she has suffered, and however she has come by her empathy, I disagree with her racist comments about being a Latina and hence better able to render judicial decisions. I also find very troubling her remarks about the judiciary being a place for setting policy. Life is full of complexity, but we have a personal and professional responsibility to rise above individual hurts and do our work objectively.
These law firm questions are what she is claiming to be discrimination?
Wow, she’s really had it bad. I wonder how she ever got over that ordeal.
Now, how does she feel about whitey being passed over to give preference for her favorite groups?
And will any Republican Senator have the backbone to ask her that question?
Typical Professional Victim.
From the stories I’ve heard....LAW firms have the WORST MANAGEMENT, and especially, probably during the time frame in which she was trying to gain employment.....that said....sheesh....what a wimp. And, I’m a woman.
So, let me get this straight.....they discriminated against her but offered her the job anyway? She should be more specific about the “inappropriate” questions about her ethnicity. Don’t all employers ask about race/ethnicity on employment forms to collect stats for Afirmative Action?
‘Sounds like it just firmed her racism.
Go any big law firm’s website and almost without exception, you’ll see a prominently positioned “Diversity” tab. Click on it and read them patting themselves on the back that they are so “inclusive” and create or participate in all these minority or female “initiatives” Or even more self-congratulatory, how they fund race-based scholarships.
Oh, poor baby. She TURNED DOWN the prestigious job because she didn’t like the questions. Most of us female lawyers didn’t even get the jobs. Her experience is hardly discrimination.
I’m disgusted she’s pulling the discrimination card. She’s had every opportunity, or she wouldn’t be where she is. Many of us from the same era got junky jobs and made do. We had lower pay and had to put up with dirty old men. And we shut up and did our jobs because we were happy to have them. I’m not crying for her “poor, poor” situation.
“The daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants,...”
Puerto Ricans are not immigrants. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and its people are American citizens.
It is client-driven (or it started out that way). The story is that 10-15 years ago, big clients started demanding to see the diversity numbers (how many women partners? how many black partners? how many black women partners? etc.). Those numbers were used by clients as part of their choice of law firm decisions. Law firms have responded accordingly with their diversity initiatives. A cost of doing (or getting) business.
That's great. Welcome to the human race, Judge Sotomayor. Now that you've noticed that discrimination is a part of life you have two choices.
...a Shaw, Pittman lawyer asked Judge Sotomayor: "'Do law firms do a disservice by hiring minority students who the firms know do not have the necessary credentials and will then fire in three to four years? Would [you] have been admitted to the law school if [you] were not a Puerto Rican? [Were you] culturally deprived?"
All good and relevant questions that should be asked of her at her confirmation hearings. Another good question that should be asked of anyone who supports Affirmative Action is ...
"Do laws that support racial preferences do anything to end attitudes based on racial preferences?"
Puerto Ricans are not immigrants. The are born, live and buried as U.S. Citizens. If they hold passports, they are US passports.
My experience is that Harvard types are most assuredly *not smarter*, on average.
I have no doubt she had serious hurdles in her life, probably more so, especially given the time she started her career, then if it was a White person in her position.
I even have no doubt she has the experience to be on SCOTUS. But it is her judicial philosophy which is not rooted in the Constitution but in “emotion”, “fairness”, and “social justice”. She believes in being a Judicial Legislator and that should simply be a total dis-qualifier right there.
There are a lot off Jurists out their with fantastic American stories to tell, but that does not make them qualified to sit on the SCOTUS, regardless of how much “empathy” is welled up inside them.
Disregard period between Social Justice and She. Should be an and.
My experience is that on average, ivy leaguers are usually more indoctrinated and ideological than you would expect from the educated. Furthermore, this class of school is leading the charge on stopping any voice that it deems non-PC.
State schools routinely produce the finest doctors, physicists, research, etc. Time to face it, Ivy has become a boarding school for the spawn of a certain political class, but thats largely it.
“I feel the same way. If a prospective employer asked a question like that I would feel at the very least it was highly inappropriate and unprofessional.”
And that attitude is why men still generally mistrust women is such workplaces. When an applicant is sitting in judgement of the potential employer, with her “offended” radar set to high, it is exactly the wrong attitude. who wants to work around someone like that? Its known as “having a chip on you shoulder”.
Nobody wants a feminista commissar for a new employee.
And try this on guys. Im just a simple man, but its pretty obvious what really happened. Here were the questions:
“Do law firms do a disservice by hiring minority students who the firms know do not have the necessary credentials and will then fire in three to four years? (HINT)
Would I have been admitted to the law school if I were not a Puerto Rican? (again, HUGE HINT)
Was I culturally deprived?” (HINT)
Like i said, im a simple man,, could it be *remotely* possible that they were trying to send her, and others of her ilk a rather clear message? As in the affirmative action train just came to the end of the line. If you are thinking of working here, we will flush you in an instant if you aren’t top quality.
She considered their offer, and knowing the truth about herself, indignantly refused to work there. The firm laughed all the way to the bank, at having deflected types like her, used to special treatment due to skin color or plumbing.
“Guess since my parents moved with me to Tennessee, that makes mine ‘New York immigrants.’”
Well, ... yes!
Yeah, but that is now, not then. We are talking about the 70s. Affirmative action was a whisper, not a reality, and law firms and companies stumbled over whether or how to embrace the concept. Nobody has ever gotten it right, which usually means the concept is flawed. But in the process, there were a lot of fumbles, and Judge S now gets to tell the story of one of them.