Cognitive Deficiencies of Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III
VIDEO: Sessions' 'checkered past,' history of baseless minority 'voter fraud' allegations reviewed...
Guest Blogged by Ernest A. Canning
"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." - Judge Sonia Sotomayor, 2001.
"I want to state up front, unequivocally and without doubt, I do not believe that any ethnic, racial, or gender group has an advantage in sound judging. I do believe that every person has an equal opportunity to be a good and wise judge regardless of their background or life experiences." - Judge Sonia Sotomayor, July 14, 2009.
A fair reading of the full context of Judge Sotomayor's 2001 University of California remarks reveals that the above two statements are not inconsistent. In the first, Sotomayor was merely giving recognition to what cognitive science has long recognized --- that differences in culture, background, and experience create frames through which our minds process data, or as George Lakoff observes in Don't Think of an Elephant and in greater depth in Moral Politics: "Concepts are not things that can be changed by people telling us a fact. Frames are needed to make sense of the facts."
Sotomayor's personal history suggests a progressive world view, or what Lakoff refers to as the Nurturant Parent Model, which emphasizes concepts like empathy, fairness in opportunity and relativity.
Such concepts were put into stark contrast with those of her lead inquisitor in this week's Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearings, where Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) --- whose "checkered past" includes allegations of racism, a nearly-unprecedented rejection by a Republican-led Judiciary Committee for his appointment to the federal bench and a long track record of obsession with non-existent minority "voter fraud" --- led the ironic attack on her record...
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