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President Barack Obama talks with Justice Sonia Sotomayor prior to her investiture ceremony at the Supreme Court September 8, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has apparently not reconciled herself to the Court's Citizens United decision allowing for essentially unlimited money to be poured into elections. Speaking to a crowd of mostly students at the University of Washington Monday, Sotomayor told the crowd that money was the biggest barrier to a government that looks like America.
One student asked what barriers still needed to be broken to improve the representation of women and minorities in government.

“Money,” Sotomayor said to laughter. “No, seriously. Look at what’s happening in politics. What’s talking the loudest is money.” For more minorities and women to gain more of a foothold in government decisions, “we’re going to have to work the political system at the highest level,” she said.

The good news is that we've got Justice Sotomayor in the system at the highest level. But we need a lot more like her, including a few on the court.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Wise Latina Strikes Again! (8+ / 0-)


    That's HRC's new Chief Justice appointment right there.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Kangaroo on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:38:16 AM PDT

  •  "Constipation, Mr. Holmes, it's obvious" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cville townie, a2nite, Mannie
    “Money,” Sotomayor said to laughter. “No, seriously. Look at what’s happening in politics. What’s talking the loudest is money.” For more minorities and women to gain more of a foothold in government decisions, “we’re going to have to work the political system at the highest level,” she said.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:41:20 AM PDT

  •  Unfortunately 5 "justices" don't believe in equal (6+ / 0-)

    Anything. They believe in white male supremacy covered in "freedom", the same as the evil white men, the "framers" who created this mess.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:43:49 AM PDT

  •  Someone should put a dialogue bubble over (4+ / 0-)

    Scalia in the pic. He looks, as always, bemused by something or other.

    The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers.

    by cany on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:49:15 AM PDT

  •  I'm reading her book (6+ / 0-)

    "My Beloved World". I was indifferent to her and now I'm turning into a fan.  She's the type we need on the Supreme Court, someone who came from the "little folks with no voice" and who worked hard to get where she is today.

  •  Amen, to that! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dewtx, pvasileff, Mannie, Eyesbright

       Amen, to that!

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:38:28 PM PDT

  •  I wonder if she was influenced by Kai Newkirk... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pvasileff, Mannie, BlackSheep1, k9disc

    ...who made history when on Feb 26 he crashed the SCOTUS and was secretly videotaped when, before he was arrested, he said;

    I rise on behalf of the vast majority of the American people who believe that money is not speech, corporations are not people and our democracy should not be for sale to the highest bidder.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:58:17 PM PDT

  •  I really (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, BlackSheep1

    like her....glad that the President was in charge of nominations.

  •  I hope to live (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid, BlackSheep1

    to see the day she writes the majority opinion gutting Citizens United. And then shoving it up Roberts' ass...

  •  Ah... Money. Good on her. Nt (0+ / 0-)

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 07:50:57 PM PDT

  •  Read Sotomayor's memoir (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, Patango

    Even if a bit fluffy, it's still very interesting and provocative.

  •  If you want a reason to work to elect Democrats... (0+ / 0-)

    ...just look at the photo in this post.


    “Money,” Sotomayor said to laughter. “No, seriously. Look at what’s happening in politics. What’s talking the loudest is money.” For more minorities and women to gain more of a foothold in government decisions, “we’re going to have to work the political system at the highest level,” she said.
    Just to put it out there pro-actively against the paranoid (in other venues, not this one, hopefully) who would view this as a furtherance of the Kenyan Muslim Takeover Conspiracy, all she's saying is that votes should matter in the United States. Votes should matter more than money, in a democracy. If "free speech" is interpreted to mean that money trumps votes in terms of who represents the American people, and how, that is a subversion of democracy.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 07:48:21 PM PDT

  •  She's a wise woman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and I hope both parties listen to what she's saying.

    We can't sfford a political class,  a class of hucksters who earn millions running perpetual political campaigns for never ending election seasons. Not only does it completrly corrupt government, it contributes nothing to the economy.

    The professional political class is parasitic, disgraceful and adds nothing.

    Apologies in advance to all the Gen Xer's who thought they could build a career on pimping for corporate scumbags. Its not a career, kids, its a record of serial crime and ethical squalor.  It won't last.

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 07:56:20 PM PDT

    •  Blaming this on my generation is bizarre. (0+ / 0-)

      This change in American politics happened roughly between 1980 and 1999. Being born in 1968, I'm one of the oldest of my generation, and I was only 29 in 1999, by which time most of the corruption had been established.

      I assume you'll concede that what happened from 1980-1986 cannot be blamed on people who were no older than 12-18 at the time, since they couldn't even vote. Although I did organize an anti-Reagan rally (my own idea) at my high school in 1984.

      I assume you'll concede that it's at least unrealistic, if not unfair, to blame what happened in this country from 1987-1993 on my generation, since they were no older than 19-25 during that period. Yes, your generation had an awesome political effect in your 20s, but it wasn't the sort of effect that can corrupt governments and entire political systems. Corruption can't be done solely from the grassroots. It's done mostly from the inside, and we weren't inside. Nobody outside the 1% is "inside" when they're between 19 and 25.

      1993 to 1999? That's where we can begin to take some of the blame, I suppose, since people in their late twenties are at least beginning to have stable positions in politics and associated disciplines.

      But wouldn't it make more sense to look at the people who actually oversaw this change? Wouldn't it make sense to look at who was in power politically during the time of America's fall?

      It sure looks to me like a combination of Greatest Generation and up-and-coming Boomers was in charge from 1980-1999.

      Why do I take 1999 as my endpoint? Why do I say that the corruption and fall of America had been achieved by then? Because we illegally installed a man who hadn't received a majority of the popular vote into the Presidency, and we accepted that result. That bespeaks corruption on multiple levels, from the highest to the lowest. All the corruption necessary was in place then to dismantle America at leisure.

      As far as "building a career" in the corrupt political sector goes, maybe if your generation had taken an interest in recruiting people like me when we were in our twenties, like your Republican counterparts were doing in spades, maybe then we wouldn't be so eager to "pimp" for some corporate bastard:

      (From Paul Ryan's Wikipedia entry):

      He often visited the office of libertarian professor Richard Hart to discuss the theories of these economists and of Ayn Rand.[19][27] Hart introduced Ryan to the National Review,[19] and with Hart's recommendation Ryan began an internship in the D.C. office of Wisconsin Senator Bob Kasten where he worked with Kasten's foreign affairs adviser.
      I worked my ass off on political causes of all stripes all through college. If you look at my diary from the time, you can see that I was involved in just about every left-wing group you could imagine on a Florida campus.

      The Republicans were sure recruiting from the conservative students who were intelligent and interested in politics. How many people high up in the Democratic party came by to recruit us, do you think? Who got us a job on The Nation? Who connected us, some 19-year-old lower-middle-class kid hoping to make good, with the office of a U.S. Senator? You want to know where Paul Ryan the "pimp for the corporate scumbags" came from? He was a member of the Reaganjugend who got mentorship and opportunities, while the Democratic boomers were sneering at the scruffy Gen X hippy kids out on the common protesting.  They didn't come to our group meetings--they were on their way to some $500/plate dinner or some meeting in the tony office of a DC consultant.

      You want to know where Paul Ryan came from? Conservative Boomers and conservative Greatest Generation recruited him, trained him, and paid him. They are the ones who are responsible for him being where he is, not his contemporaries. And to some degree, so are the Democratic Boomers and Greatest Generation, for choosing to stop recruiting and sever ties with grassroots liberals while their conservative counterparts were obviously engaging in a countrywide recruitment effort.

      Howard Dean tried to go back and fix this error much later, bless him, but he got kicked to the curb.

      But in conclusion, may I quote Marion from Raiders of the Lost Ark:

      Marion: I was trying to escape, no thanks to you.

      Indy: How hard were you trying?

      Marion (exasperated): Well, where the hell were you?

      Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in.

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 10:42:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just love listening too (0+ / 0-)

    and reading Justice Sotomayor

    For me there is another part to this " money" equation , I grew up in the country side out in the sticks , if a employer , for instance , screwed you over or discriminated against you , there is no " justice " available to you , unless you have a lot of "money"  

    It goes along with , say , for instance , exxon valdez victims not getting justice for over 20 years , or Native Americans etc etc , you can not call that " a justice system"

    And you never here Washington DC politicians even addressing this subject  

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 08:02:51 PM PDT

  •  Love that photo. One more reason why POTUS rocks. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Listen to her discussion w/ Linda Greenhouse (0+ / 0-)

    from last month(link below). She comes off as extremely and proudly liberal, particularly on criminal issues, where she's been the lone dissenter in several high profile cases. Very interesting discussion where she drops the coyness that Justices sometimes have on what they believe.

  •  anita hill + rush limbaugh never \ happened (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    those month long battles not on tv - anita hill was being 'swiftboated' and we didn't get her back.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:20:32 PM PDT

  •  I believe this picture was taken (0+ / 0-)

    when Sonia first joined the court. Sonia wore that white bib type thing (a gift from Ruthie) only during her first year as an associate justice.

    It's always darkest before it gets less dark.

    by Karma Electra on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 01:04:21 AM PDT

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