Justice Sotomayor: Labeling illegal immigrants criminals is insulting


Sotomayor was asked at a talk at Yale Law School later in the day about her use of the term “undocumented immigrants” rather than the traditional illegal alien. Sotomayor characterized the issue as a regulatory problem and said labeling immigrants criminals seemed insulting to her.

“I think people then paint those individuals as something less than worthy human beings and it changes the conversation,” Sotomayor said.

Silly me.  I always assumed that someone who breaks the law is, by definition, a criminal.  And further, when one breaks the law, there’s necessarily negative repercussions associated with their crime so that maybe, just maybe, they’ll at least give some thought to following society’s rules in the future. I think they call this negative reinforcement. But Sotomayor apparently believes we should be more concerned with criminals’ self-esteem than their underlying criminal behavior.

Exit question: Shouldn’t a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, even an Obama appointee, at least pretend to have respect for the rule of law?

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