Geoffrey Stone on Life Experience and Judicial Perspective

Life Experience and Judicial Perspective
Geoffrey R. Stone
Huffington Post
June 4, 2009

White men are neutral, disinterested and objective. At least, that seems to be the view of those commentators who have attacked Sonia Sotomayor for suggesting that a Latino woman might actually reach better decisions than a white man.

This business of life experience is a curious phenomenon. I wasn't at all happy with the way the Obama administration emphasized Judge Sotomayor's life story. It's an interesting story, to be sure, but it shouldn't be the focus of her nomination to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. The focus instead should be on her intellectual ability, her judicial philosophy, and the nature and quality of her legal experience. But life experience isn't irrelevant.

Geoffrey R. Stone