Judge Sotomayor's "Unscripted" Moments:

Today's Washington Post reports:

conservatives have seized upon Sotomayor's unscripted moments to make the case that she is outside the mainstream. The two most often quoted are a statement she made about how appellate judges make policy and her observation about how being a Latina affects her role as a judge: "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." [emphasis added]

The initial comment that "policy is made" in the appellate courts was clearly an "unscripted," off-the-cuff remark, and one that I think was overblown. The other one, however, comes from the published version of a prepared speech. So it was hardly "unscripted" and, in all likelihood, it was not unedited either. I suppose it's possible that the text of the speech published in the Berkeley Law Raza Law Review was the raw transcript, but I highly doubt it. Much more likely, Judge Sotomayor had ample opportunity to review the text of her speech prior to publication, making corrections and clarifications where necessary. Thus, in this case, there is every reason to believe that Judge Sotomayor's words were precisely what she meant to say -- and not quite an "unscripted" moment.