Daily Archives: July 14, 2009

Sessions vs. Sotomayor or Modern vs. Postmodern Perspectives on Objectivity

The discussion going on between Senator Sessions and Judge Sotomayor is fascinating!  Without going into to much detail the argument is about objectivity/subjectivity.

Sessions believes, from a modernist perspective, that objectivity is possible (indeed he is not even questioning it) and all judges must adhere to objectivity.

Judge Sotomayor, from more of a postmodern perspective, admits that we are all, including judges, subjective beings and only when we admit that can we strive for objectivity.

Simply because Sotomayor admits to being a subjective being does not mean she will not be an objective judge.  If fact, I would argue and agree that only when we admit our subjectivity, when we know and critically examine what events, facts, and experiences have influenced our lives, only then can we begin to try to strive for objectivity.

I think a judge admitting they are a subjective being striving for objectivity is similar to a pastor admitting they are a sinner but stiving to be like Christ.  But like a church who wants a perfect leader, Senator Sessions is not comfortable with a judge admitting who they are.

I don’t mean this post to be political, rather I am just interested in the modern vs. postmodern view of objectivity that seems to be on trial in this hearing.

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