The Current Situation

“Because ‘White Male’ Equals Default Human ‘Normal’, See?”

Sonia SotomayorMichael Tomasky nails the real issue of the Sotomayor confirmation hearings perfectly:

Greg Sargent makes a great point about Jeff Sessions getting his knickers all in a twist about the "wise Latina" comment. Sessions said to Sotomayor this morning:

You have evidenced, I think it’s quite clear, a philosophy of the law that suggests that the judge’s background and experiences can and should and naturally will impact their decision — what I think goes against the American ideal…

Now read what Samuel Alito said at his confirmation hearing in 2006:

[W]hen a case comes before me involving, let’s say, someone who is an immigrant — and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases — I can’t help but think of my own ancestors.…

When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.

Sessions voted for Alito of course. So it’s all right if you’re a white man, because as we all know, white men don’t have prejudices. Just amazing

Barbara O’Brien does a good job summarizing things in her article Senate Republicans, Sonia Sotomayor and the Default Norm, reminding us:

However, we can see plainly from the hearings yesterday that they can put on public displays of flaming racism and still hang on to their jobs. And, anyway, they don’t have to explicitly proclaim their superior virtues as white men, because it is implicitly assumed.  As Mo Dowd said, “After all, these guys have never needed to speak inspirational words to others like them, as Sotomayor has done. They’ve had codes, handshakes and clubs to do that.”