Perry Mason Moment

My friend is a legal secretary and she’s seen a few cross-examinations. She explained to me that what makes high drama on TV–when the defense pulls out some evidence that the prosecution had no idea of–doesn’t result in a triumph of justice in real life. It’s called a ‘mistrial’.

So the Perry Mason moments are few and far between but Judge Sotomayor pulled one off.

You won’t see the Wall Street Journal quoted often on our site, but here it is…

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), seeking to discredit Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy, cited her 2001 “wise Latina” speech, and contrasted the view that ethnicity and sex influence judging with that of Judge Miriam Cedarbaum, who “believes that judges must transcend their personal sympathies and prejudices.”
“So I would just say to you, I believe in Judge Cedarbaum’s formulation,” Sessions told Sotomayor.

“My friend Judge Cedarbaum is here,” Sotomayor riposted, to Sessions’ apparent surprise.

Read the whole post. Perhaps Judges Sotomayor and Cedarbaum have some wisdom of experience that Sen. Sessions could learn from.


6 thoughts on “Perry Mason Moment

  1. Sotomayor has been very forthcoming about her personal views in public venues while serving as a judge.
    She chooses not to be so open regarding her personal opinions during the confirmation hearing.That seems inconsistent.

  2. She has a long record of decisions–it’s easy to get a summary of whether her decisions tended toward favoritism or ideology. But there’s nothing there to jump on, only a few words she said in a talk years ago.
    She’s being cautious. Her opponents have judged her guilty of being a racist until she can prove herself innocent. She’s not playing.

    1. Well,I didn’t call her a racist,but what is the harm in her expressing a personal opinion,not necessarily a lealism when asked about the right to self defense?
      As you might guess,my main concern about this judge is her likeliehood to try to eviscerate the Heller decision and my attitude on this is shaped by her stand on incorporation of that decision against the states in a 2nd Circuit case.
      Sheldon Whitehouse made a despicable attack on firearms rights yesterday and he likes to go skeet shooting with his rich upper crust WHITE social circle-what a lousy hypocrite.
      Her decisions have been pretty much around middle ground except this Ricci case.

  3. I almost forgot-my wife is also a Nuyorican(half Honduran also)and both she and I were struck by the fact that the judge doesn’t sound natural.NO ONE from the Bronx sounds like that.She ought to speak like she did growing up.No one should be ashamed of how they grew up pronouncing things.I’m not.I will NEVER put a G on the end of any word.:)

  4. Joe, there are people called dialect coaches.

    There are studies that show that people are often judged as less intelligent, or more belligerent, or whatever, if they use a particular dialect.

    Learning how to speak ‘neutral’ english is a part of some peoples’ education. It’s not about being ashamed of who you are; it’s about providing yourself with all the tools necessary to advance your career.

  5. I know what you’re saying.People go to Harvard and come out speaking like I don’t know what and they sounded like me going in.
    If too many people speak “neutral English”they’ll all sound like androids.I really like listening to dialect speech-it sounds much more real-and in any case I spend more effort listening to what is said than how the words are pronounced.Anyone who’s served in the military knows the joy of learning completely new ways of saying things because people from all over the place are thrown together.
    The “Brown University lilt”(my term)where the voice rises at the end of a phrase drives me nuts.

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