Sen. Leahy asked Judge Sotomayor about several of her controversial statements, including this one:
Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases…. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, 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.
Sotomayor’s explanation today of what she was clearly attempting to convey: “What the words that I used, I was agreeing with the sentiment that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was trying to convey.”