Sotomayor: “Money” is biggest barrier prevent representation of women and minorities in government

March 14th, 2014

During a recent event in Washington, Justice Sotomayor made this observation about the state of American politics.

One student asked what barriers still needed to be broken to improve the representation of women and minorities in government.

“Money,” Sotomayor said to laughter. “No, seriously. Look at what’s happening in politics. What’s talking the loudest is money.” For more minorities and women to gain more of a foothold in government decisions, “we’re going to have to work the political system at the highest level,” she said.

I’m not sure that I understand Justice Sotomayor’s comment. Is she saying the inability of women and minorities to raise money keeps them out of politics? Or is she saying that non-women and non-minorities are keeping them out of office by raising more money.

In 2008, then-Senator Obama (a minority) raised $750 million. Senator Clinton (a woman) raised $230 million.  Both opted out of public funding. In 2012, President Obama (a minority) shattered his own record, and raised over $1 billion. Obama out-raised McCain and Romney.  Money does talk the loudest.