U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor has quit her membership in the all female New York-based Belizean Grove club. Of course, she denies any wrongdoing. So why is she quitting?
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor has quit her membership in a women's club, the New York-based Belizean Grove.
"I believe that the Belizean Grove does not practice invidious discrimination and my membership did not violate the Judicial Code of Ethics, but I do not want questions about this to distract anyone from my qualifications and record," the 54-year-old New York federal appeals judge wrote.
The American Bar Association's judicial code says that a judge's extrajudicial activities "must not be conducted in connection or affiliation with an organization that practices invidious discrimination."
It adds, "An organization is generally said to discriminate invidiously if it arbitrarily excludes from membership on the basis of race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or sexual orientation persons who would otherwise be eligible for admission."
According to the group's Web site, "The Belizean Grove is a constellation of influential women who are key decision makers in the profit, nonprofit 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."
A woman who answered the phone at the club, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, said no one was immediately available to comment.