This Ameriqueer guest column is by Ed Anderson of Royal Oak, MI about the pick of Sonia Sotomayor to replace moderate/liberal Justice Souter. We will be hearing a lot more about Sotomayor on Ameriqueer as her confirmation looms and we learn more of her views.
Fair or Unfair
By Ed Anderson
"A wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion" Sonia Sotomayor said in 2001, What does this say about a woman who wants to be on the Supreme Court of the United States? Will she be sensitive to all citizens or will she only find empathy with people, cases that she feels are moral?
There are no clear indications on how Sotomayor will vote on LGBT issues because there are no rulings in her career involving gay rights cases. However the Human Rights Campaign says “We are encouraged by several of Judge Sotomayor’s decisions which have recognized the Constitutional right to privacy, first articulated in Griswold v Connecticut where the Supreme Court first ruled on privacy, which lays the foundation for fundamental rights for LGBT people. We look forward to conducting a thorough examination of her record on privacy issues.” She did co-sign a letter to the editors of The Daily Princetonian on February 27, 1976 criticizing an anti-gay attack at Princeton. While encouraging, this is not nearly enough to determine what she would do if given the chance to interpret the law in the highest court of the land.
While a comment Sotomayor made, may seem to have been racially insensitive, the opposite may actually be true. Her position on gay issues may be unclear but she stuck up for gay men over thirty years ago and there is nothing to suggest that she wouldn’t do that again.