AP: Pat Leahy got Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” remarks wrong

Posted by: ST on July 15, 2009 at 9:26 am

Nice to know that someone at the AP is paying attention to the Sotomayor hearings-for-show:

WASHINGTON (AP) – In endorsing Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy did some creative rewriting of history. And he put quote marks around it.

Trying to head off criticism of a controversial comment, Leahy misquoted Sotomayor’s own words in kicking off the second day of her confirmation hearings.

[…]

LEAHY SAID: “You said that, quote, you ‘would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would reach wise decisions.'”

THE FACTS: If that’s all Sotomayor said, the quote would barely have mattered to opponents of her nomination. The actual quote, delivered in a 2001 speech to law students at the University of California at Berkeley, was: “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.”

Leahy’s revision dropped the controversial part of the phrase, the part that has attracted charges of reverse racism.

Sotomayor said her words have been misunderstood. She said she intended to tell students that their experiences would enrich the legal system. But she softened her language Tuesday, say that no ethnic, racial or gender group has an advantage in judging.

Unfortunately for the AP, they didn’t go far enough in their factchecking. As we talked about last night on BlogTalkRadio, conservative bloggers, chiefly John Hinderaker at Power Line, caught Sotomayor blatantly lying by completely revising the context of the controversial remark. Read John’s full post here in which he quotes Sotomayor’s statement at the hearings this week, versus what she actually said in her speech in 2001 speech about “wise Latinas.”

In a follow-up today, John notes Byron York’s report that Republican aides don’t believe Sotomayor was telling the truth about her wise Latina comments and are “preparing a follow-up today.” Should be interesting. York also talked to Pat Leahy about his misquote of Sotomayor. Predictably, he gave a lame – and not believeable – excuse.

SCOTUSblog is continuing to liveblog the Sotomayor hearings. You can keep up with all the latest there, and watch the hearings live C-SPAN.

Related: Ed Morrissey writes about Sotomayor’s “so-so reviews so far.”

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8 Responses to “AP: Pat Leahy got Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” remarks wrong”

Comments

  1. proof says:

    I would hope that a wise Latina, having made an embarrassing comment, would apologize for it, rather than lie to try to cover it up!

  2. NC Cop says:

    As with everyting else with the democrats, the facts/truth matter little in their arguments and decision making.

  3. Lorica says:

    NC let’s not forget their quest for power on that list. Our present POTUS is more than enough evidence of how lying works for them. – Lorica

  4. Kate says:

    It’s disturbing when the Republican senator butchers up a direct quote…motivation: to keep the media from branding him a racist, which is the sticking point in this whole hearing process.

    They want a “diverse” SCOTUS…qualifications and prejudices be damned.

    I wonder how a lawyer who will potentially plead before her will have to “tailor” his suit to cajole her to use her Latina wisdom in his/her favor. Alas, she is just one member of the court (this is a done deal!)

  5. Lorica says:

    They want a “diverse” SCOTUS…qualifications and prejudices be damned.

    Let’s not forgot that honesty be damned too. This woman is lying thru her teeth, and it is obvious even the blind could see it. – Lorica

  6. Carlos says:

    Kate, the sleazy “misquote” is by a jackass donkey, not a Republican, although as much as Graham was praising the virtues of this Latina he may have been able to slip that one by without a blink of the eye, too.

    But that’s O.K., because they are politicians, they’re in D.C., and everyone with those as their backdrop is expected to lie, defraud, steal and cheat.

    Leahy, BTW, has a lot more in his background that should embarrass him more, but he’s rewarded with this chairmanship for being such a “good player”.

  7. sailorman says:

    Perhaps the biggest problem is that they belabored a quote given in a speech and except for one decision, never asked a single question on any of her other decisions as a judge. Less than 1% of her decisions have been reverse and even the controversial firefighter decision was overturned by only one vote in a 5-4 decision. Perhaps the question by Senator Franken about Perry Mason highlighted the pomposity by the senators on both sides of the aisle.

  8. Great White Rat says:

    Perhaps the biggest problem is that they belabored a quote given in a speech

    And repeated multiple times, so it’s not like it’s a slip of the tongue. On top of that, she lied about the content and meaning, as ST’s links show. Since when did lying under oath become a character trait we want on the SCOTUS? Answer: since January 20…

    Less than 1% of her decisions have been reverse

    You’re off by about 60% there. Do some research.

    even the controversial firefighter decision was overturned by only one vote in a 5-4 decision.

    5-4 on the decision, but 9-0 against whether Sotomayor handled the case properly. When even Ginsburg can’t find an excuse to say she acted correctly, you know she’s not qualfied.