Leave it to Greg Sargent to conclude that the big scoop here is that no GOP senators pressed her on the earlier remark at her ’98 appellate confirmation hearing, where the scrutiny’s normally a fraction as intense as it is for a SCOTUS appointment. The real significance, of course, is that it puts the lie to the White House’s feeble spin about how Sotomayor supposedly misspoke in 2001, a position the nominee herself has been forced to adopt even though people on her own side admit it’s nonsense. Evidently, the idea that her biology makes her a superior judge has been with her for decades. The only wrinkle: In 1994 she insisted it was her gender that made her “better” and by 2001 that notion had evolved to include race as well. Nice to know that her progressivism became more “sophisticated” over time.

Here’s what she said in the 1994 speech:

“Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that “a wise old man and a wise old woman reach the same conclusion in dueling cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes the line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, if Prof. Martha Minnow is correct, there can never be a universal definition of ‘wise.’ Second, I would hope that a wise woman with the richness of her experience would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion.”

Lindsey Graham met with her today and all but declared afterwards that he won’t vote for her, in full accordance with the precedent set by The One’s ideological jackassery when he voted to torpedo Roberts and Alito. As gratifying as that sort of payback is, though, the racial politics here are a lot different for Graham than they were for Obama. Prudence or principle? Exit question: Was Rush serious today when he said he’d support her if he had reason to believe she was pro-life? What possible reason aside from her faith (one that’s shared by countless of pro-choice Democrats) would we have to think that? Surely someone as invested in gender politics as our “wise woman” nominee isn’t going to disappoint NARAL.