Friday, May 29, 2009


Republican comments about Judge Sonia Sotomayor are amazing and without basis, as when Newt Gingrich, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh call Sotomayor a "racist."

But equally disturbing and unexpected were the comments of former federal district judge and now University of Utah law professor Paul Cassell who said on The NewsHour that Sotomayor lacks the intellectual capacity or ability to make a mark on Supreme Court jurisprudence.

Judge Cassell taught criminal procedure when I attended law school at the U. back in the year 2000, and he always was very careful to avoid his own personal political views in class.

So when he said without any basis that Sotomayor was in effect an intellectual lightweight, it was shocking. Especially because Sonia Sotamayor attended Princeton for her undergraduate degree and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Then she went on to Yale Law School. If a person is the top of her class at Princeton, she certainly has shown that she is an intellectual heavyweight.

Cassell's negative opinion offered without any evidence shows that he too as a white male would rather engage in casting political aspersions than in accepting another's appointment to the highest court, especially when that other happens to be a female Latina from Puerto Rico. I would have wished that Cassell would have magnanimously wished Sotomayor the best and, furthermore, I would have like Cassell to say what a great Justice she will make on the U.S. Supreme Court.

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