Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On Baseball Bats, Civility and Wise Latinas

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor recently gave  the Robert A. Stein lecture before an audience of 2,700 people at the University of Minnesota on civility in public discourse. 


Sotomayor made an admission against interest as she recalled working with her  Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, with whom she could violently disagree.

Associate Justice Sotomayor on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
Yet Sotomayor spoke also affectionately of her conservative colleague, noting that the death of Scalia was like losing a family member. Sotomayor insisted that despite their differences that she was a good friend of Scalia.

Notwithstanding her uncharitable impulses when butting heads with Scalia on the Supreme Court bench, the self labeled Wise Latina chides herself that: 

If we’ve lost anything, it’s remembering that differences don’t stand, necessarily, on ill will. If you keep that in mind, you can resolve almost any issue, because you can find that common ground to interact with each other.

To support civility, it might be wise for Sotomayor to consider how her progressive SCOTUS ally Ruth Bader Ginsburg discerns dissent before being driven to grab a baseball bat. 

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