Opinion | Sexuality

Sonia Sotomayor: 'I Feel Your Pain'

Why the new judge's empathy—extended to more than just Latina women—will serve the Supreme Court well.

Women: Imagine you've been having problems with pre-menstrual depression or unpleasant menopausal symptoms. Men: Imagine you're having problems that are probably prostate-related, or maybe you're having trouble getting it up. All else being equal (though of course it never is), would you rather see a male or a female physician?

Empathy matters. That's why I'm not worried about the line from Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's 2001 lecture, "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."

Yes, she needs to explain what she did and did not mean - and I'm sure she'll be given the opportunity to do so. Chances are, she did not mean that she would toss objective law out the window whenever a Latina woman walked into the courtroom. After all, in 1997 Sotomayor told Senator Jeff Sessions, "I do not believe we should bend the Constitution under any circumstance. It says ...

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