We Are All Frankians Now

by Kevin Jon Heller

Of all the silly right-wing attacks on Sonia Sotomayor, the reaction to her professed love of her native cuisine — “My Latina identity also includes, because of my particularly adventurous taste buds, morcilla, pig intestines; patitas de cerdo con garbanzo, pigs’ feet with beans; and la lengua y orejas de cuchifrito, pigs’ tongue and ears” — has to be the silliest:

According to Hill reporter Alexander Bolton, “This has prompted some Republicans to muse privately about whether Sotomayor is suggesting that distinctive Puerto Rican cuisine… would somehow, in some small way influence her verdicts from the bench.”…  Slightly gobsmacked, I called Bolton earlier today and asked him whether this was for real — whether any conservatives were genuinely raising this issue. He confirmed, saying, “a source I spoke to said people were discussing that her [speech] had brought attention… she intimates that what she eats somehow helps her decide cases better.”  Bolton said the source was drawing “a deductive link” between Sotomayor’s thoughts on Puerto Rican food and her other statements.

The Wall Street Journal has an article today examining the influence Jerome Frank has had on Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy.  Given that Frank once famously quipped that “a court’s decision might turn on what the judge had for breakfast,” it appears that Sotomayor is not the only one influenced by him.


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