Category Archive 'Belizean Grove'

18 Jun 2009

Sotomayor’s Grove of Influence

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Yesterday’s New York Times reported that Sonia Sotomayor defends her membership in a females-only influence-sharing club as non-violative of Canon 2 of the Code of Conduct for US Judges, which reads:

A judge should not hold membership in any organization that practices invidious discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, or national origin.

I am a member of the Belizean Grove, a private organization of female professionals from the profit, nonprofit and social sectors,” Judge Sotomayor wrote. “The organization does not invidiously discriminate on the basis of sex. Men are involved in its activities — they participate in trips, host events and speak at functions — but to the best of my knowledge, a man has never asked to be considered for membership.”

She added: “It is also my understanding that all interested individuals are duly considered by the membership committee. For these reasons, I do not believe that my membership in the Belizean Grove violates the Code of Judicial Conduct.

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Personally, I disagree with Canon 2, and think judges and everyone else should enjoy freedom of voluntary association, but Judge Sotomayor I expect would be one of the first to insist on strict enforcement of that politically correct standard on everyone but herself.

Is she right in maintaining that the Belizean Grove, a club with 115 female members, is non-discriminatory on the basis of sex?

Here is the club’s own description, you decide.

The Belizean Grove is a constellation of influential women who are key decision makers in the profit, non-profit and social sectors; who build long term mutually beneficial relationships in order to both take charge of their own destinies and help others to do the same.”

Having observed the power of the Bohemian Grove, a 130-year-old, elite old boys’ network of former Presidents, businessmen, military, musicians, academics, and non-profit leaders, and realizing that women didn’t have a similar organization, Susan Stautberg and 26 other founding members created the Belizean Grove, a constellation of influential women who are key decision makers in the profit, non-profit and social sectors; who build long term mutually beneficial relationships in order to both take charge of their own destinies and help others to do the same.

Members are highly accomplished leaders in a wide venue of fields, are dedicated to giving back to their communities, have a sense of humor and excitement about life and are willing to mentor and share connections. With this vision in mind, members are invited not only for their professional accomplishments but also for their generosity and compatibility.

The Grove is an international nurturing network that helps women pursue more significant dreams, ambitions, purposes, transcendence, and spiritual fulfillment, while also opening up more leadership opportunities to these women of diverse backgrounds, talents, ages, and skills. The Grovers are leaders from 5 continents, from profit, non-profit and social sectors. They are heads of major government agencies, businesswomen, military officers, academics, non-profit leaders, musicians, authors, diplomats, design gurus.

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UPDATE 6/20:

Sotomayor resigned from the Belizean Grove yesterday, stating that she did not want her membership in the exclusuve female-only club to “distract anyone from my qualifications and record.”

Some news agency story.


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