Sotomayor Belongs to All-Female Club

200px-Sonia_SotomayorAmong the material release this week by the White House is the disclosure that Judge Sonia Sotomayor belong to a private women’s-only group. The membership raises an interesting question given the controversies in the past over nominees who belong to men-only club. Should the standard be different for women or should exclusive club membership no longer be an issue in nominations?

The Sotomayor documents also reveal that her controversial comment about Latina judges giving superior opinions to white males was not a one time slip — but used repeatedly by her in speeches, here.
Sotomayor agreed to join the Belizean Grove — the female reaction to an equally secretive all-male club called the Bohemian Grove. It is a fascinating dilemma. Feminists would like object to a nominee who belonged to the Bohemian Grove, but this nominee joined a female club designed on the model of the gender-discriminatory club.

The Belizean Grove has about 125 high-ranking members and is based out of New York.

The group describes itself as “a constellation of influential women who are key decision makers in the profit, nonprofit and social sectors; who build long term mutually beneficial relationships in order to both take charge of their own destinies and help others to do the same.”

The late Chief Justice Rehnquist was attacked for having a restrictive covenant in his deed, though he insisted that he knew nothing about it, here.

Liberals insisted that Gustavus Adolphus Puryear IV, a Bush nominee for the trial court, should be denied confirmation over his belonging to a club with a discriminatory past and only one known black member, here.

Nominee Vaughn R. Walker was also opposed on the basis of his membership in an all-men club. He was eventually confirmed after passing through the committee with heavy opposition.

Reagan appointees were also opposed on the basis of discriminatory clubs like Francis A. Keating 2d.

Notably, one of Clinton’s high-ranking nominees was opposed for membership in a racially exclusive club. Indeed, when Eleanor D. Acheson joined the club it did not grant female members full rights.

What is fascinating about this latest story is that Sotomayor has a profile that would normally not thrill liberals. Not only does she belong to a discriminatory club, but she voted against discrimination claims in 78 out of 96 cases. I happen to agree with many of those rulings, but there is a question of the response of some of these same groups if this were another nominee with this voting record and such a membership. As I have noted in my criticism of both the attacks from the left and right (as well as my review of Sotomayor’s decisions), there is a disconnect between the rhetoric and record of this nominee from both sides. I do not believe that Sotomayor’s record shows bias. Indeed, I find it quite impressive in a lack of bias. Moreover, her voting record should be welcomed by conservatives in a number of respects. If she continues to vote as a justice as she did as an appellate judge, the left will lose ground with her nomination in some important areas. Nevertheless, this nomination continues to be argued on the basis of robotic soundbites from groups on both the left and right — often in direct contradiction of their earlier positions.

For the full story, click here.

53 thoughts on “Sotomayor Belongs to All-Female Club

  1. When Jews were barred from many institutions, like Country Clubs and hotels, their response was to form institutions of their own. The barring of women from various clubs and institutions for years led to the formation of parallel institutions. Big deal. We are now down to the “everything but the kitchen sink” smearing of the nominee. Honestly, I don’t know if she would have been my preferred pick, because she seems farther towards the center than I would have the next justice be. However, her qualifications far surpass those of Roberts, Alito and Thomas (Scalia has shown himself to be a hypocrite whatever depth he might have been perceived as having) and so she deserves to skate through the advise and consent process.

  2. Okay, if Soto was a Blue Bird—or emphatically, if she was ever a “Brownie”(ifin’ ya know what I mean)—she must be roundly rejected, especially by all of the ‘real’ men of the U.S. Senate.

    I mean, what’s the world a’comin’ to, we caint have little girls like this all growed-up becomin’ powerful women “lesbos”. We white guys might lose our patriarchy and we all have knowned for a fact that an all-Girl Scouts-type tribe breeds anti-men Amazons! Need proof—well, Soto aint never had no babies and she could not stay married, proof perfect! She aint a ‘real’ woman, I tells ye.

    And now through govmit decipherment, we larned she belongs to an all-girly club, scandalous, call Hoover’s FB & I and ware-tap hern’ phone lines, videotape hern’ bedroom for evidence of male cross-dressin’ and sich subversive, Anti-Mercan activities. Geo. Bush was ‘write’ and so miss-understood.

    See, our ‘four fathers’ done told us that lettin’ women vote was the disastrous camel’s nose under the all-male tent…

    Man, what is happening to humanity?! I am thoroughly ashamed of our governmental representatives who live by the foul words of the uneducated losers–Rush n’ Gleen–who failed at everything they ever did in real life but became illicitly drugged radio and T.V. commentators and the real leaders of the Republican Party. That goes for the ‘left-wing nuts’ as well.

    Unless she is determined to be a pinko-commie conspirator, the U.S. Senate must confirm Ms. Sotomayor as the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

  3. Let us think of this for moment. – You call yourselves freemen. You boast of your liberty and independence. You suppose yourselves to be protected in your person and property by safeguards and guarantees which nothing can take away. What are these safeguards and guarantees? You answer, “In the law of the land and the constitution which is over me”; you say, “My property cannot be taken from me, nor my person or my good name injured, because the law protects me, and that even the Legislature is powerless to injure me by bad laws, because the Constitution of the State stretches its aegis over me.” But do you reflect that the laws and the Constitution are only and mean only what the Judge says they are and mean, and that if he chooses to pervert them and misinterpret them your boasted security is gone in an instant? This cannot be otherwise: the law must have an interpreter, and that interpreter is the Judge. The law can speak only by the lips of the Judge. Otherwise it is silent and non-existent; and therefore your final and ultimate safeguard and security is the Judge. If he is fearless true, upright, and independent you are free and safe. If he is false subservient or partial you have no more freedom or security than the subjects of the Sultan on the Bosporus. -JAMES C. CARTER, Carnegie Hall, October 1898

    I’m much more concerned with her judicial decisions than any of the petty nonsense.

    Will she be a good judge? -Only time will tell. Is she qualified? -Yes.

  4. Mr. Byrne, Please give me an example of a decision of Judge Sotomayor’s that you find worrisome and the legal basis for your concern. It’s always much more useful to discuss specific, rather than general, issues.

  5. Mike A.,

    I did not state tht I had a problem with any of her legal decisions, or that I noted anything “worrisome”; merely that her judicial decision making should be the focus instead of the petty issues, such as belonging to an exclusive group.

  6. Former president Clinton on the Bohemian Club:

    “The Bohemian club! Did you say Bohemian club? That’s where all those rich Republicans go up and stand naked against redwood trees right? I’ve never been to the Bohemian club but you oughta go. It’d be good for you. You’d get some fresh air.”

    Here’s the CNN video link

    The whole wikipedia page for the bohemian grove is an entertaining read, Nixon has some choice quotes which I’ll spare the other commenters.

    From a purely amateur conspiracy theorist perspective this is hilarious. We’re all for equal opportunity secret societies to get wackos worked up over.

  7. Mike S

    YOu wrote:
    When Jews were barred from many institutions, like Country Clubs and hotels, their response was to form institutions of their own.

    me: that’s right and in fact it’s where Groucho Marx’s famous comment, “I’d never want to belong to any club that would have me as a member” comes from. He was denied membership in the swank LA Country Club so he and some other Jews formed one of their own. Difference is they did not make it an all Jewish club. That was during a time when Jews could not buy property in San Marino, Laguna’s Emerald Bay, La Jolla, Holmby Hills and went on to make their own suburban meccas in Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica and anyone who could afford to buy homes in those areas did. They were not restricted to Jews.

    Of course I grew up in that part of LA, where there were two country clubs across the street from one another. We belonged to the jewish one. Now both are equally Jewish and non-Jewish although I think that the formerly Non-Jewish one has more Jews now that the old Jewish one. Confused? yeah. metoo.

    if Sotomayor belonged to any all-girl club other than the Girls Scouts or an all girl rock band then this is the same kind of discrimination that we like to accuse the rich white male power base of using to protect its interests at the cost of others.

  8. The link doesn’t appear to be right. This seems to be better:

    http://www.belizeangrove.com/

    As to soundbites, comparing this to joining a racially exclusive white club doesn’t help too much. Is a club set up in answer to a male exclusionary one akin to keeping blacks from buying a property? To compare the two baldly is a bit much. What if instead of going to Cardinal Spellman, she went to an old girl’s Catholic High School. Would she support discrimination too akin to those who were sent to all white private schools?

    And, there are various stories, including in major media like the NYT, that provide more nuance to her actual judicial philosophy and decisions.

  9. Why would the Girl Scouts be okay? If girls scouts are different in part because girls have special qualities when growing up that warrant it, I’m unsure why women business leaders can not be of the same variety.

    In fact, seriously, where does this lead us? If Justice Alito belonged to an Italian professional association, would that be a problem? Not for me.

  10. Yes Joe, the original site linked to had some terrible Belizean bongo music and I exited quickly.

    Your link provided all of the information on membership I required to give this All-Gals Club my Triple-AAA Rating:

    Membership:

    Mindy Meads – President & CEO, *Victoria’s Secret* Direct;

  11. FFLEO,

    I’m pretty sure Mindy left Victoria’s Secret in 2007.

    Still give them a AAA rating? :>)

  12. Well then, to which All-Girls Country Club did she transfer? My AAA ratings for all things VS are fully transferable, without prejudice.

  13. Four-Star General Ann Dunwoody Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command, is/was a member of the Belizean Grove.

    Therefore, because she is a “B-Grover” she should resign her U.S. Army commission immediately. The disgrace of it all!

    “She is the first woman in U.S. military and uniformed service history to achieve a four-star officer grade, receiving her fourth star on 14 November 2008.”

    “Gen. Dunwoody participated with First Lady Michelle Obama in a forum for *promising girls* in Washington, D.C. public schools in March 2009.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_E._Dunwoody

  14. That is the first time I have heard the loud-mouthed Mr. Mark Levin and I will try to make it my last time.

  15. When the playing field is actually level I’ll get excited about the kind of reactionary organization Judge Sotomayer belongs to. We aren’t there yet so it’s a non-issue to me also.

  16. There is a dead link “here” at the end of the paragraph reproduced below:

    “The Sotomayor documents also reveal that her controversial comment about Latina judges giving superior opinions to white males was not a one time slip — but used repeatedly by her in speeches, here.”

    Does anyone have an estimate for the percent of federal court judges who are Latina’s, white males?

  17. I called my Washington DC Representative’s office today asking for a stafing job and said “I would hope that a wise white man with the richness of his experiences would reach better conclusions than a Latino or Black woman who hasn’t lived that life.”

    The staffer called me a racist and said I would never be considered for a staff job in Washington DC with that attitude.

  18. Obama’s Trouble With Independent Voters Deepening

    Friday, June 05, 2009

    U.S. News & World Report
    Paul Bedard

    Pollster John Zogby regularly updates our Obamameter.

    Each week, Zogby uses his polling, expert analysis, and interaction with major players to come up with a rating of between 1 and 100. Unlike his polls, the Obamameter is his judgment on the performance of the president once multiple factors are considered.

    In this week’s Obamameter, Zogby says that the president was hit hard by former Vice President Dick Cheney’s rap on Guantánamo Bay policies and the concerns about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

    Also, he’s facing troubles winning over independents at a pace far greater than the previous four months. Could this be the wake up call the Right has been saying is bubbling up in America?

  19. http://www.gallup.com/poll/119393/Americans-Oppose-Closing-Gitmo-Moving-Prisoners.aspx

    June 3, 2009

    Americans Oppose Closing Gitmo and Moving Prisoners to U.S.

    Public does not believe prison has weakened U.S. national security

    by Jeffrey M. Jones

    PRINCETON, NJ — By a better than 2-to-1 margin, Americans are opposed to closing the Guantanamo Bay prison that houses terror suspects. Additionally, Americans express even more widespread opposition to the idea of moving the prisoners to prisons in their own states if Guantanamo is closed.

  20. Carl,
    Keep dreaming. You do know of course that Zogby is a Republican pollster and that his polls rate at the bottom in accuracy. Face it, you guys lost because you were incompetent and were in it only to help the haves and not the American people. You supported people who arguably committed treason and rather than realizing your mistake, your ego is too fragile to take it, you soldier on in a lost cause whose major aim was to enrich the already rich and fool the religious zealots into believing that Republican=Christian. In fact today’s Republican Party=immorality/greed.

  21. carl wrote:

    1, June 5, 2009 at 6:04 pm
    I called my Washington DC Representative’s office today asking for a stafing job and said “I would hope that a wise white man with the richness of his experiences would reach better conclusions than a Latino or Black woman who hasn’t lived that life.”

    The staffer called me a racist and said I would never be considered for a staff job in Washington DC with that attitude.
    ____________

    carl,

    You are a liar, a plagiarist, or both.

  22. Military wife unhappy with Obama

    I’ve heard this line before, that the President wants to end the war in Iraq means that he doesn’t support the troops. This is stupidity at its finest. Why are people that can’t assemble enough intelligence to see that ending a bs war (of choice) may actually give their loved ones on the front lines a better chance of surviving it, even part of the dialog?

  23. yoseh:

    “GOD Damn Obama is NOT going to allow the destruction of Israel. He can go to Hell.”

    ***********

    Seems to me the Israelis are doing a pretty good job of insuring that outcome themselves. As consolation, they make take all of us with them. What is it about the mid-Eastern mind that requires blood to appease old wounds? Would you destroy yourselves and your children to prove the divine sanction of your cause? I can think of no better definition of religious insanity.

  24. British Study: Christians risk rejection and discrimination for their faith

    Christians are facing discrimination at work, and ridicule and rejection at home, according to new research.

    By Jonathan Wynne-Jones

    June 5, 2009
    Telegraph Breaking News

    The first poll of Britain’s churchgoers, carried out for The Sunday Telegraph, found that thousands of them believe they are being turned down for promotion because of their faith.

    One in five said that they had faced opposition at work because of their beliefs.

    The findings suggest a growing hostility towards religion in this country, which has been highlighted by a series of clashes between churchgoers and their employers.

    Church leaders, including the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, have urged Christians to “wake up” and defend their beliefs after the suspension of Caroline Petrie, a community nurse, for offering to pray for a patient.

    Churchgoers interviewed in the ComRes poll said that they are already facing discrimination at work.

    As many as 44 per cent said they had been mocked by neighbours or colleagues for being a Christian, and 29 per cent said they had been ignored or excluded for the same reason.

    They also claimed that they are being discriminated against at work, with 25 per cent saying they had been turned down for promotion due to their faith. The same number said they had been reprimanded or cautioned at work for sharing their faith.

    There has been a series of cases over recent months featuring Christians who have been suspended after expressing their religious views, including a teacher who complained that a staff training day was used to promote gay rights.

  25. Dem Leadership Moves to Kill Photo Amendment, war between moderates & liberals looms.

    THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned that Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership is moving to strip the Lieberman-Graham amendment blocking the release of detainee photos from the supplemental appropriations bill now in conference.

    One senior staffer on Capitol Hill angrily tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD that “the conference on the supplemental may drop the photo amendment to appease the House Democratic Caucus.” Indeed, as David Rogers reported in the Politico this morning:

    “Obama himself has argued that the pictures should not be released, and the administration gave its tacit blessing to the Senate language when it was inserted — without a roll call vote last month — by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut independent. At a party whip meeting Thursday, top House Democrats warned the language must come out if Obama is to get his IMF funds.”

    “They (Democrats) certainly miscalculated on this pictures thing. I don’t know how the hell they thought that would work. The IMF drives away Americans. The pictures drive away the even the liberals you need. You have to choose.” said a top Democrat.

    It looks like House Democrats have made their choice, and it’s a choice that would endanger the lives of U.S. troops rather than risk a compromise with Republicans on IMF funding. According to this source, Lieberman and Graham will “lead a fight to restore the amendment” in the event that Pelosi and her allies remove it from the final bill, but the Obama administration will need to insert itself into the debate if this matter is to be properly resolved. As Senator Lieberman said on the floor of the Senate last week, “nothing less than the safety of our military servicemen and women is at stake.”

  26. yoseh:

    “Shove it wear it hurts mespo.”

    ********************

    Well it hurts when I read illiterate posts by ideologues bent on hellfire and damnation. Christians Mocked? Ignored? They certainly should be familiar with that approach to religious differences since they most likely invented the methodology. Tsk, tsk. Tell me where does it say or is implied in the Britain’s unwritten Constitution that a person may be free from public ridicule for believing in delusions? Wonder how the Brits treat astrologers or followers of Zeus? Get back to me on that won’t you yoseh? I am readying a new charity for this tormented (oops they like that, they call it sacrificing for the deity) group called “March of Fools.”

  27. yoseh: “The same number said they had been reprimanded or cautioned at work for sharing their faith.

    There has been a series of cases over recent months featuring Christians who have been suspended after expressing their religious views, including a teacher who complained that a staff training day was used to promote gay rights.”
    ———
    Most likely no one would have known about their faith or cared what it was if they had just had the courtesy to keep their mouths shut about it. I never cared what my co-worker’s religion was until they just had to belabor me with it. Same with their politics. Once they opened those doors though, they were fair game for my ‘ridicule’ which was generally no more than a reasoned argument in opposition. Still, any opposition was too much for some of them. I’m sure they too felt ridiculed.

    Sounds to me like the examples you provide are people who met verbal resistance, lost the debate and are sore losers.

    To be fair though I’d probably never meet a Mormon without immediately asking to see the magic underwear, I’d just have to go there as a reflex. :-)

    Visiting a blog, coming in all cussy/loud and having nothing better that ‘shove it’ by way of a rebuttal argument is unacceptable in normal blog society. Dial it back or nobody will play with you.

  28. Yoseh:

    You are new to this site. We valuable civil discourse — a rarity to be sure among many sites on the Internet. We do not allow personal attacks or juvenile insults. Your last comment was deleted. If you prefer such exchanges, I ask that you move on to other sites more fitting with your tastes.

  29. I am not concerned with private clubs that Judge Sotomayor has joined to compete against the clubs that would not admit them. I am concerned that the process of reviewing her record has spun out of control and turned into a Fox News circus.

  30. Lotta You wrote: Most likely no one would have known about their faith or cared what it was if they had just had the courtesy to keep their mouths shut about it. I never cared what my co-worker’s religion was until they just had to belabor me with it. Same with their politics. Once they opened those doors though, they were fair game for my ‘ridicule’ which was generally no more than a reasoned argument in opposition. Still, any opposition was too much for some of them. I’m sure they too felt ridiculed.

    Me: true enough. no one would know and no one would care. I don’t get why the hyper religious think that their have the corner on the spirituality counter in the marketplace of ideas.
    Okay, so I’ll give them this: in the 1st century CE, the only way to get converts to their fledgling religion was to put on their shoes and go door to door. That was then, and while the gospels still urge them to do this, there is no good reason for this kind of proselytization. It isn’t like there are not churches on any corner that any questioner can wander into, christian bookstores in every mall, christian tv on cable 24/7, christian rock station and christian talk radio. what bothers me is the notion that only one path to god, if you believe in that particular deity ( I do not) is their way and all others are damned and so save your soul and mine they persist in ringing our doorbells, chatting us up at work, passing out tracts to kids getting on school busses and insisting that the world is anti-christian for rejecting this shameless promotion of their world view.

  31. JT:

    “We do not allow personal attacks or juvenile insults.”
    *****************

    I seem to have more than my share of personal detractors lately. Without trying to sound like Richard Pryor, “Is it something I said?” Though I find the parrying stimulating, I sense I am not being inclusive. I will tone down the sarcasm, but it is a chore when responding to some of these unlettered posts. I awoke to a shudder tonight that I am being positively Republican!

  32. mary; mespo, you are a disgrace here.

    hahahaha that’s pretty rich, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest most sane, rational, reasonable people(i.e. not you) would think yourFred Phelps schtick to be the disgrace

  33. We should all know that racist and close-mindedness applies to white males only, especially conservative ones. Sotomayer has made repeated racist statements, joined a sexist club(women only), and decided for Reverse Descrimination. It amazes me how much Obama loves his bigots(Sotomayer and Jeremiah Wright).

  34. Mr. Riddle, you have apparently decided that repeating the allegations of others is preferable to doing your own research. That unfortunate choice is reflected in your comments. Should you adopt a more radical approach, such as actually reading some of Judge Sotomayor’s opinions, you will find that she is quite moderate. Indeed, she is not nearly as liberal as many of us might prefer. The balance of your criticisms are merely juvenile.

  35. mary, rather than simply regurgitating a Weekly Standard diatribe, why don’t you favor us with your own thoughts on the issue of the Abu Ghraib photographs? Perhaps you could also explain why Sens. Graham and Lieberman are so adamant on the subject.

    For my part, the history of tyranny and repression convinces me that those who most strongly oppose disclosure of the truth are those most likely to be harmed by it. In this case, that means men like Sen. Lieberman and Sen. Graham, both of whom mindlessly supported the policies that resulted in the atrocities which so concern you. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are running for personal cover, an example of moral cowardice that nicely complements the ethical and legal failures that accompanied the commencement and execution of the war in Iraq.

  36. Jim Byrne wrote, in part:
    _________________

    Jim Byrne
    1, June 20, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Sotomayor resigns from women’s club
    _________________

    Thanks.

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