Do not all judges only have a perspective?

Just reading an article from a few days ago in The New York Times about Judge Sotomayor’s views about judging that while made in 2001, which are now relevant because of her potential as a Sumpreme Court nominee and also as a way to discuss (or perhaps malign) President Obama‘s desire for a justice with “empathy.”

Well, she really could have said it better than this:

‘Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences,’ she said, for jurists who are women and nonwhite, ‘our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.’

This, unfortunately makes it sound as if experience and identity only come to bear for women or non-white judges.  What is more accurate is that identity and experiences of oppression and privilege will necessarily come to bear on any judicial decision-making.  It is not just the dispriviledged for whom their dispriviledge shapes their perspective; privilege itself also shapes one’s perspective. (more…)

Published in: on May 16, 2009 at 12:21 pm  Comments (1)