I wish this wasn’t true, but it is. Senate Republicans are focusing on a speech made by Supreme Court nominee Sonya Sotomayor in 2001 at Berkeley. As reported by The Hill, a conservative news site:
Sotomayor also claimed: “For me, a very special part of my being Latina is the mucho platos de arroz, gandoles y pernir — rice, beans and pork — that I have eaten at countless family holidays and special events.”
This has prompted some Republicans to muse privately about whether Sotomayor is suggesting that distinctive Puerto Rican cuisine such as patitas de cerdo con garbanzo — pigs’ feet with chickpeas — would somehow, in some small way influence her verdicts from the bench.
Curt Levey, the executive director of the Committee for Justice, a conservative-leaning advocacy group, said he wasn’t certain whether Sotomayor had claimed her palate would color her view of legal facts but he said that President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee clearly touts her subjective approach to the law.
“It’s pretty disturbing,” said Levey. “It’s one thing to say that occasionally a judge will despite his or her best efforts to be impartial … allow occasional biases to cloud impartiality.
Yes, you’re reading it correctly: Sotomayor’s love of Puerto Rican food may influence her imprtiality on the bench. Talking Points Memo contacted trhe reporter to determine of the article was a parody, and was assured it was not:
He confirmed, saying, “a source I spoke to said people were discussing that her [speech] had brought attention…she intimates that what she eats somehow helps her decide cases better.”
Bolton said the source was drawing, “a deductive link,” between Sotomayor’s thoughts on Puerto Rican food and her other statements. And I guess the chain goes something like this: 1). Sotomayor implied that her Latina identity informs her jurisprudence, 2). She also implied that Puerto Rican cuisine is a crucial part of her Latina identity, 3). Ergo, her gastronomical proclivities will be a non-negligible factor for her when she’s considering cases before the Supreme Court.
Is it the ethnic diet in general, or the pork component in particular that leads to problems? Maybe it’s the pork parts that are the problem. After all, the south is the home of barbecue and conservativism, but they stick to the less threatening parts of the magical animal.
I propose that the upcoming confirmation hearings for Sotomayor be held at a full-blown pig roast on the White House lawn. Then we’ll see what effect pork has on decisioon-making. Who can be a heartless bastard when he has a plate full of lechon and tostones?