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Sotomayor: Examining her record

The New York Times' analysis: "Judge Sonia Sotomayor's judicial opinions are marked by diligence, depth and unflashy competence. If they are not always a pleasure to read, they are usually models of modern judicial craftsmanship, which prizes careful attention to the facts in the record and a methodical application of layers of legal principles. Judge Sotomayor ... has issued no major decisions concerning abortion, the death penalty, gay rights or national security. In cases involving criminal defendants, employment discrimination and free speech, her rulings are more liberal than not."


Video: Psycho Talk:Law professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University shares his view of Judge Sotomayor's past legal judgments with Countdown's Keith Olbermann.

"But they reveal no larger vision, seldom appeal to history and consistently avoid quotable language. Judge Sotomayor's decisions are, instead, almost always technical, incremental and exhaustive, considering all of the relevant precedents and supporting even completely uncontroversial propositions with elaborate footnotes. All of which makes her remarkably cursory treatment last year of an employment discrimination case brought by firefighters in New Haven so baffling. The unsigned decision by Judge Sotomayor and two other judges, which affirmed the dismissal of the claims from 18 white firefighters, one of them Hispanic, contained a single paragraph of reasoning."

The Wall Street Journal: "Judge Sonia Sotomayor has built a record on such issues as civil rights and employment law that puts her within the mainstream of Democratic judicial appointees."

At his fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last night, Obama "touted his newly announced Supreme Court nominee … calling her a 'brilliant individual' with both sterling credentials and an admirable personal journey," the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes. "The mention of Sotomayor drew a standing cheer. 'I know that Harry Reid and others in the Senate will make sure that she is confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice,' Obama said. 'I know that because Harry has just as improbable a story, and so do I. That's what politics should be about: remembering that for a whole lot of folks, life isn't easy.'"

The Boston Globe: "[T]he Sotomayor storyline almost immediately split in two directions -- a heartwarming narrative of Horatio Alger proportions to her defenders, and a cautionary tale of liberal judicial activism to her critics. While the Democratic-controlled Senate is expected to confirm her, Sotomayor's life and record nonetheless are certain to be hotly debated in the weeks to come."

What does the Republican Party do? The Washington Post: "An all-out assault on Sotomayor by Republicans could alienate both Latino and women voters, deepening the GOP's problems after consecutive electoral setbacks. But sidestepping a court battle could be deflating to the party's base and hurt efforts to rally conservatives going forward."

The Los Angeles Times adds, "Rush Limbaugh called her a 'reverse racist.' The conservative Judicial Confirmation Network said she carried a 'personal political agenda' and should be blocked from the Supreme Court. But beyond such heated criticism, commonplace in partisan court battles, the nomination Tuesday of Sonia Sotomayor to the high court brought a surprisingly muted response from the Republican senators who will actually vote on it."

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez fired off this warning shot to Republicans, per Roll Call: "'The Republicans are looking at ways they can make inroads in the Latino community ... they need to be very cautious and careful' about lobbing harsh attacks on Sotomayor, Velázquez said Tuesday."