Judge Sotomayor has received much commentary on her oft repeated remark that “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion.” There are many obvious problems with that comment, but I havn't read anything dealing with what is, for me, the most obvious.
Wisdom is a precious gift. It's possible that some people are born wise, but most of us earn what little wisdom we have by experience. I have met many people who are wise. They are always well worth listening to. They are also the most reluctant to speak. Another trait shared by the wise is that they never consider themselves to be wise.
My mother, who is very wise, told us children that the "instant you realize you are humble, you are not." Likewise, when someone says that they are wise, however indirectly, then they are not. Judge Sotomayor in her speeches was hoping that her audience would see why her presence on the bench is necessary. That is, as a wise Latina woman. She is a woman. She is also of Puerto Rican origin. But her speech was most unwise.
I think we need someone much wiser than Judge Sotomayor on the Supreme Court.