There’s been quite an uproar over remarks made by Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor. In a speech she made in 2001, she said the following.

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

Naturally, many conservatives have seized on this statement as evidence that Sotomayor doesn’t possess the requisite temperament for a Supreme Court justice. Some have even declared her to be a racist.

One question I have seen asked on several sites is, “What if a white judge made a similar statement?”. Certainly that judge would be subjected to a lot of criticism and most likely would not be confirmed. But I don’t think this is a very useful or interesting rebuttal.

If I were discussing the remark with someone, I would not focus on the comparison she makes to white males at all. Instead, I would be interested to know how the riches of her experiences as a Latina woman stack up against other groups. Would they cause her to reach better conclusions than an African-American woman? How about a Native-American male? Which ethnic background provides the experiences which lead to the highest percentage of good conclusions?