On October 19, 2009, it was reported by the Heritage Foundation
that the White House chosethe outfit thatMs. Sonia Sotomayor would
wear for her nomination acceptance ceremony for the Supreme Court bench
seat she now occupies. The information about the White House picking
her clothing came from a speech Ms. Sotomayor gave to her Yale alumni
when she was talking about recently being selected to serve on the
Supreme Court bench.
It was reported in the New Haven Register that a Connecticut State
Senator, Ed Meyer, who attended the Yale alumni event this past
Saturday stated that Ms. Sotomayor said "that she had gone shopping for
clothes to wear to her acceptance ceremony but government officials
instead told her to bring five suits, one of which they would recommend
for her to wear". CNN also reported that Obama Administration
officials even picked out which suit Ms. Sotomayor wore.
Greg Craig, legal counsel to the President of the United States,
has repeatedly claimed credit for being responsible for all the vetting
of Ms. Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court bench seat for which she
was selected and recently appointed to. It really makes me wonder. Is
he also the White House official who did not think that Ms. Sotomayor
was capable of picking out an appropriate outfit to wear to her
nomination acceptance ceremony to the Supreme Court?
Truly this is slap to all women lawyers in America that White
House officials think they have to pick out the clothes of women
appointed to the Supreme Court bench. My question is, How many male
lawyers who have been appointed to the bench of the United States
Supreme Court have been vetted to determine if their clotheswere
appropriate for their nomination ceremony?
I am very thankful that Ms. Sotomayor, the new Supreme Court
Justice, told this story to the alumni at Yale. For far too long women
lawyers in America and the clothing that they chose to wear to court
has often been used as a barrier for the advancement of women in
American Courts. In fact, twenty years ago when I started practicing
law I was told by a Judge one day when I came to court dressed in a
pant suit that I should go home and change to a skirt, hose and heels.
I told the Judge he could find me in Contempt but I was not wearing a
skirt, hose and heels unless he did also and that the best I could tell
pants were acceptable for the men and should also be acceptable for the
women. From that day forward pants were acceptable in Court. Ms.
Sotomayor should have told the White House and whomever it was that if
they trusted her with the cases in the highest court in the land that
they should trust her with what she herself selected to wear toher
nomination ceremony to the Supreme Court.
In January Ms magazine posted a provocative cover of Obama in an
iconic superman pose tearing off a white shirt and red tie. His black
undershirt was exposed and stated "This is what a feminist looks
like". However, the actions of his White House on the selection of Ms.
Sotomayor was not the action of a feminist. I am sure that President
Obama was not aware that people in his White House, probably Mr. Greg
Craig who was handling all of Ms. Sotomayor's vetting, told her that
they had to vet her clothes. For that reason President Obama should
apologize for the behavior of his sexist staff for trying to tell the
woman Supreme Court Justice what she could or could not wear to her
nomination acceptance ceremony.
That was Sonia Sotomayor's big day. She had even made
arrangements to go shopping as she told the Yale alumni but the White
House did not see fit to let the woman who would be sitting on the
Supreme Court bench pick out an outfit of her choice to wear on her big
day. After hearing about this I told my mother, who is the biggest
feminist that I know, and she said "This is a three pig oinker and
whoever the official at the White House was who told Sonia Sotomayor
what she could wear ought to be ran out of the White House, made to
squeal like a pig and to apologize to all the women lawyers in America
including Ms. Sotomayor."
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It is also important that the women of America let the White House
know that we do not want the women Supreme Court Justice's dressed like
Barbie dolls by officials in the White House. Please call the White
House today and ask them to stop this sexist behavior for all female
officials appointment by President Obama's administration and fire the
person responsible for this action and demand to know if it is Greg
Simpson is a country lawyer who resides in Rainsville, Alabama. She has appeared on 60 Minutes and Dan Abrams MSNBC. Stories were written in Time Magazine, Harpers Magazine, and the New York Times about her being a witness in the Don Siegelman case (more...
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