Republican members of Congress have been trying to subtly raise questions about Sonia Sotomayor’s objectivity — simply because of her non-traditional race, gender, and upbringing. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) said today that he is concerned Sotomayor has shown “personal bias based on ethnicity and gender.” Similarly, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said in a statement today that Sotomayor may be subject to the “undue influence” of her race and gender:
Of primary concern to me is whether or not Judge Sotomayor follows the proper role of judges and refrains from legislating from the bench. Some of her recent comments on this matter have given me cause for great concern. In the months ahead, it will be important for those of us in the U.S. Senate to weigh her qualifications and character as well as her ability to rule fairly without undue influence from her own personal race, gender, or political preferences.
Responding to Inhofe, The American Prospect’s Dana Goldstein writes, “Yes. Because the worldviews of John Roberts, Sam Alito, John Paul Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, and Antonin Scalia are not impacted at all by their white male identities. White men are raceless and genderless, haven’t you heard?”