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Judge So-So-mayor

Response from hardcore Republicans to the appointment of Judge Sonia Sotomayor is predictable, so I won’t bother repeating any of it. The analysis of Jeffrey Rosen, legal affairs editor at The New Republic, is interesting precisely because he’s a liberal.

What’s more, most of the people Rosen talked to about Sotomayor “are Democrats who want President Obama to appoint the most effective liberal Supreme Court justices possible and were concerned Sotomayor might not meet that high standard.”

In a nutshell, those who work with Judge Sotomayor find her overbearing, opinionated, and — while not unqualified — not the sharpest mind on the bench.

Rosen cites these comments from the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, pointing out that lawyers normally provide fairly positive comments:

“She is a terror on the bench.” “She is very outspoken.” “She can be difficult.” “She is temperamental and excitable. She seems angry.” “She is overly aggressive–not very judicial. She does not have a very good temperament.” “She abuses lawyers.” “She really lacks judicial temperament. She behaves in an out of control manner. She makes inappropriate outbursts.” “She is nasty to lawyers. She doesn’t understand their role in the system–as adversaries who have to argue one side or the other. She will attack lawyers for making an argument she does not like.”

Again, Judge Sotomayor isn’t necessarily unqualified to be a justice of the Supreme Court. But is she really the best candidate President Obama can find?

Putting on my foil hat for a moment: is it possible that Barack Obama deliberately chose a candidate hoping that Senate Republicans would find her an irresistible target? What do you think the response of America’s growing Hispanic community will be if Sonia Sotomayor is borked in the confirmation hearings?

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