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Letters: All people, even judges, shaped by their experiences

I find the howls of outrage coming from some right-wing pundits over Judge Sonia Sotomayor's "wise Latina" comment to be an amusing tempest in a teapot. So Sotomayor said that her experience shapes her outlook. How shocking! Give me a break. Please name me one other judge or policymaker or journalist at any level for whom the same isn't true.

What is truly racist and offensive is the pundits' assumption that no Hispanic woman could possibly be as intellectually qualified to serve on the Supreme Court as a white male judge, and that therefore Sotomayor must have been selected for other reasons besides her brain. It's the same assumption that is sometimes made about Hispanic and African-American students at elite colleges - they couldn't possibly have made it on their merits, so they must be beneficiaries of affirmative action.

I'm looking forward to Judge Sotomayor giving the rigid old geezers in the Supreme Court an intellectual run for their money.