Tuesday, May 26, 2009

For Albright, It Was Xena; For Sotomayor, It's Perry Mason

I've never been to New Zealand before. But one of my role models, Xena, the warrior princess, comes from there.
Madeleine Albright
I think it is generally agreed that Albright in action did not resemble Xena very much. After all, it was a later Secretary of State--Condoleezza Rice--who was nicknamed "The Warrior Princess".

I identify much more with Sonia Sotomayor's role model:
While growing up poor and suffering childhood-onset diabetes, raised by a widowed mother and speaking no English until after her father died when she was 9 years old, she drew her inspiration from reading Nancy Drew detective stories and watching "Perry Mason" on TV. In one "Perry Mason" episode, the prosecutor was overruled by the judge, leading Sotomayor to conclude that the judge was the most important person in the courtroom.

"I thought, what a wonderful occupation to have," Sotomayor told the New York Times in a 1992 interview. "And I made the quantum leap: If that was the prosecutor's job, then the guy who made the decision to dismiss the case was the judge. That was what I was going to be."
I guess it was only a matter of time before Sotomayor made a few more quantum leaps and figured that the most important judge in the judicial system is a Supreme Court Judge.

Perry Mason was always able to get his client off the hook--even if he had to bend the law a little bit in order to do it. What kind of Supreme Court Judge would Perry Mason have made?

We may find out. 

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