Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is Wisdom Racial, as Judge Sotomayor Says?

Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor, on a riff on comments by Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg that "at the end of the day a wise old man and a wise old woman reach the same judgment," took exception with both of history's only female justices. According to Judge Sotomayor, "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."

Perhaps, then, we could cut to the chase by asking Judge Sotomayor to rank the races and genders by the innate wisdom in the possession of each. It would then be a very simple matter to seek out potential nominees exclusively from the race and gender that ranks highest, thereby assuring us that only the very most qualified justices would be nominated and confirmed.

This approach is certain to appeal to President Obama, as a solid meld of qualification and identity politics.

The only real issue that remains: Does the wisdom inherent in a particular race change over time, so that this year's leader might be next decade's goat?

Let's ask Judge Sotomayor.

Who knew it could be as easy as that?

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