From the beginning, there was a lot of speculation that Sonia Sotomayor was picked by Obama to be Supreme Court Justice not just because she's qualified, but because she's Latina. Although it's impossible to know whether or not that was a consideration for Obama, that assumption frames the way people are talking about her now. Right-wingers have been attacking her intelligence, the implication being that she's only up for the job because of her race and gender. An editorial by writer Trey Ellis says it best:
"Nothing gets the right wing's panties in a bunch more than a hyper-qualified person of color. And if that person happens to have a vagina...? Fuggedaboutit. Judge Sotomayor (a law school classmate of my mother's) was summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa at Princeton, and editor of the Yale Law School Journal, and yet the right still try to squawk that she's an intellectual lightweight, chosen purely because of her sex and the tint to her skin?"
Let's keep this conversation about Sotomayor's record and stop using terms like "articulate" as code for "She's pretty smart--for a Latina." Also, "judicial activism" and "empathy" should not be codes for "pro-choice" and "woman". Let's keep this conversation honest, and read between the lines of attacks against Sotomayor.