The (Liberal) Case Against Sotomayor?

Posted: May 26, 2009 11:59 AM

Jeffrey Rosenberg is a legal writer who is definitely not part of the vast, right-wing conspiracy.  But even he, writing in The New Republic (a liberal-leaning magazine), makes a very effective case against Judge Sotomayor.  The pretty damning piece included the following evaluation by former law clerks (for other judges) and federal prosecutors:

Nearly all of them acknowledged that Sotomayor is a presumptive front-runner [for the Supreme Court seat], but nearly none of them raved about her. They expressed questions about her temperament, her judicial craftsmanship, and most of all, her ability to provide an intellectual counterweight to the conservative justices, as well as a clear liberal alternative.

Rosen notes that the clerks, in particular, had no axe to grind with Sotomayor.  If what they said is true (and no doubt we'll learn lots from the hearings), Barack Obama decided it was more important to hew strictly to political considerations -- trying to lock in the Latino vote, keeping the far left happy -- than to appoint a judicial mind of the first caliber.

Telling, isn't it, if ethnicity, gender and politics trumped every other consideration for the President? 

If some of the piece's details about Sotomayor's behavior on the bench are true, it will be interesting -- if she is confirmed -- to watch her go head-to-head with Justice Scalia.