At the moment, Sotomayor is locked in a semantic battle with Jeff Sessions, one of the more committed anti-Sotomayor Senators, who keeps interpreting her partial comments as advocating the use by judges of racial and social prejudice as an alternative to the law — as restated by Sessions, “Impartiality is a mere aspiration,” “Your background affects the facts you choose to see,” etc. She keeps explaining that she was talking about watching out for such prejudices to make sure they don’t influence one’s judgement. He goes, “Do you stand by your statement…” and she goes, “I don’t stand by the understanding of my statement…” This will go on for a while, perhaps generations.
Update: She also referred to Roe v. Wade as “settled law,” which Chris Matthews and some twitterers think is big news. Expect Randall Terry to come crashing through the roof any minute.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 14, 2009