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SUMMARY: On August 7, the United States Senate confirmed the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. She becomes the third woman and first Hispanic to serve in that capacity. Her nomination and swearing in offer an excellent opportunity to discuss diversity and multicultural organizations.

QUESTIONS:

  1. When President Obama hailed Sotomayor’s confirmation by saying it was “breaking yet another barrier,” what did he mean?
  2. In what ways does Justice Sotomayor’s membership in the Supreme Court express the characteristics of a multicultural organization?
  3. Opponents of Sotomayor’s nomination expressed concern about her comment that a “a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” In what ways might this comment reflect ethnocentrism? Why might this be a concern?

SOURCE: J. Bravin, “Senate Confirms Sotomayor in Largely Partisan 68-31 Vote,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124955682673110741.html#mod=loomia?loomia_si=t0:a16:g2:r4:c0.0168791:b27026392; for additional reference, see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124973431689116795.html)

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