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A Double Standard for Judge Sotomayor

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The July 13 front-page article "Hearings Not Just About Sotomayor," said of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor: "How she answers the questions of Republican panel members . . . will help determine whether charges from her critics persist about her ability to apply the law fairly, without a bias toward any group."

What an astounding double standard.

Has any white man or white woman, during Supreme Court confirmation hearings, been asked whether being Caucasian makes him or her unable to apply the law without bias in cases involving people who are not Caucasian?

Has any male Supreme Court nominee ever been asked whether he can apply the law without bias, since more than half of the U.S. population is female?

It would be nice to see women and people of color being treated like full citizens held to the same standards as everyone else. Maybe someday, but clearly not yet.

AMY E. LESEN

New Orleans

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The headline on the July 14 editorial "Two Wrongs . . ." said that as president, Barack Obama deserves "the deference that Sen. Obama failed to show" President George W. Bush's judicial nominees.

The editorial called then-Sen. Obama's votes against Supreme Court nominees John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr. "mistakes."

Yet the editorial offered Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) a free ride to vote against Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor if he did so "on the merits as he views them and not as a ploy for political gain." Did Sen. Obama not live up to that standard? Or was his "mistake" that he did not agree with your assessment of the nominees?

RUTH P. ROLAND

Warrenton

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