"We have a candidate from Harvard and a candidate from Juliard."
"Well, Harvard's worth 30 points, Juliard's worth 28... So I guess the Harvard candidate wins."
Institutions can be compared on a variety of metrics (most of them subjective, but one can at least offer justifications for them). Minority statuses, however, cannot. On what basis can one conclude, for example, that it is more suitable to be Latino than black, or vice versa?
This is going "We have several candidates for a position who are all equally impressive; let's choose the one who will best benefit our company".
Yet again the erroneous assumption that candidates can ever be exactly equal.
You still haven't addressed any of the actual points being raised, here. We're talking about the actual potential benefits you get back for putting a highly qualified minority to the Supreme Court; you're hung up on language and talking about how this somehow perverts your ideals. Basically, you're saying: "We need to keep the Supreme Court full of white old dudes, even if it's beneficial for us to hire other highly qualified people, because doing otherwise violates my moral perspective of the universe".
And you're saying 'I think, ceteris paribus [although you haven't responded to my point that this is an absurd assumption to make], that a minority should be chosen over a white person because doing otherwise violates my moral perspective of the universe'. Every normative argument takes as axiomatic a set of moral assumptions and then draws conclusions thereof; therefore, your attempt to label my arguments as such in a manner which implies that they're a bad thing is itself the kind of sophistry you accuse me of.
No, I'm not trying to perpetuate white male dominance. I'm arguing that the multiplicity of other variables involved means that candidates will never be equal, and so that the argument that there is no downside to picking a minority candidate (unless he or she is more qualified, in which case the case for choosing him or her stands on its own merits and doesn't need appeals to skin colour) is fundamentally flawed. You have not yet responded to that.
There are many ways to do this, but one ideal would be to make the court representative of the diversity of our nation. (After all in a truly colorblind country this is what would naturally happen.) In which case about half the court would be women. We'd have 1 black. 1 latino (or latina). Likely 1 of another race, quite likely an Asian. And with about even odds, one person would be gay. Which means that, believe it or not, if Sotomayor is approved, then women will be the only group that can fairly complain about being underrepresented in the current court. (Of course if you look through history, every group except white men is severely underrepresented.)
No, in a colourblind country the exact opposite would happen (or to be more exact, the situation you're describing could occur anyway, but it wouldn't be for the reasons you're suggesting): people would be selected on the basis of ability.