My answer to that provocative question would, of course, be "no." But the question is begged by the statements of appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor, nominated today by President Obama for the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 2001, Judge Sotomayor said "'I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male..."
Now, the judge is certainly entitled to her, ahem, opinions, and I suspect that in her upcoming confirmation hearings she will announce something along the lines of "that comment was just something stupid I said when I was young."
But let's imagine for a moment that during the confirmation hearings for Chief Justice John Roberts it had been discovered that about eight years ago he had said, "I would hope that a white male, with the richness of his education, experience and heritage, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a (fill in the blank: Latina woman, black male, crippled immigrant, Asian woman, Harvard faculty member.)"
Roberts, of course, would have been denounced as an insensitive, misogynist, racist slimeball who was unfit for any kind of public office. Let's see if the media and liberal interest groups give Judge Sotomayor a free pass on her own brand of racism.