Oh, can we just get it over with already?
Call Judge Sotomayor
a bitch shrill so we can just move on.
As if on cue, here comes the New York Times with a heading that is meant to do everything but that: Sotomayor’s Sharp Tongue Raises Issue of Temperament.
Raises this issue with whom? Rush Limbaugh? Newt Gingrich? The former, a man who has been married three times, calls women “feminazis” and “info-babes,” reporter babes, and been caught with so many illegal prescriptions he ended up with mug shot; the latter someone who dumped his wife while she was fighting cancer to marry his aide, a scandal that caused him to run squealing from the House in disgrace.
Never mind what Tom Tancredo shrieked. Seriously, never mind.
The gist of the complaints in the article coming down to… drum roll… She’s tough. Oh, no, not another
ball buster, er… tough woman. The men will melt. You know, because lawyers are such shrinking violets.
But after that heading from the Times, the article goes on to actually disprove it.
Those skills, some observers say, could make her an able politician on the Supreme Court and allow her to serve as an intellectual counterweight to Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative who is known for his acerbic questioning.
“In some ways she could match, well, the other New Yorker on the court, Justice Scalia,” said Douglas Kmiec, a law professor at Pepperdine University. “He expects people to give back as good as he gives, and I expect that when Justice Sotomayor is on the court, his wish will be fulfilled.”
Both colleagues and lawyers who have argued before her agree that her style is assertive.
Assertive, yee gads, run for your life. Wonder if anyone ever called Scalia a
prick, ahem, I mean, jerk?
No wonder Rush and Newt are so freaked out. Their maleness shrinks at the thought of it.
However, the part I love best about the Times article is this bombshell section:
Other lawyers, though, are not so enamored. In the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, which conducts anonymous interviews with lawyers to assess judges, she has gone from generally rave reviews to more tepid endorsements. Among the comments from lawyers was that she is a “terror on the bench” who “behaves in an out-of-control manner” and attacks lawyers “for making an argument she doesn’t like.”
“Terror on the bench,” said some unnamed source, which the Times felt compelled to share.
“Behaves in an out-of-control manner,” said someone, though we haven’t a clue whom.
“For making an argument she doesn’t like,” anonymous “lawyers” felt “attacked.” Aw, poor babies.
No wonder Sen. Roberts from Kansas has decided to vote against her.
Buried in the article, however, is an essential anecdote that actually should have been the lede:
Judge Guido Calabresi, a former dean of Yale Law School who taught Ms. Sotomayor there and now sits with her on the Second Circuit, said complaints that she had been unduly caustic had no basis. For a time, Judge Calabresi said, he kept track of the questions posed by Judge Sotomayor and other members of the 12-member court. “Her behavior was identical,” he said.
“Some lawyers just don’t like to be questioned by a woman,” Judge Calabresi added. “It was sexist, plain and simple.”
Give that man a prize.