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May 27, 2009

More Sotomayor: Kinda Dumb and Nasty

From TNR.

As was once said, approximately, of an intellectual lightweight's nomination: Dumb people are entitled to representation, too.

The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was "not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench," as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. "She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren't penetrating and don't get to the heart of the issue."

...

Her opinions, although competent, are viewed by former prosecutors as not especially clean or tight, and sometimes miss the forest for the trees. It's customary, for example, for Second Circuit judges to circulate their draft opinions to invite a robust exchange of views. Sotomayor, several former clerks complained, rankled her colleagues by sending long memos that didn't distinguish between substantive and trivial points, with petty editing suggestions--fixing typos and the like--rather than focusing on the core analytical issues.


...

Not all the former clerks for other judges I talked to were skeptical about Sotomayor. "I know the word on the street is that she's not the brainiest of people, but I didn't have that experience," said one former clerk for another judge. "She's an incredibly impressive person, she's not shy or apologetic about who she is, and that's great." This supporter praised Sotomayor for not being a wilting violet. "She commands attention, she's clearly in charge, she speaks her mind, she's funny, she's voluble, and she has ownership over the role in a very positive way," she said. "She's a fine Second Circuit judge--maybe not the smartest ever, but how often are Supreme Court nominees the smartest ever?"

Note that's a Sotomayor supporter.


That's a hell of a defense -- hey, there are a lot of dummies that make it to the Supreme Court; what's one more going to hurt?


You know, I really think the rich life experiences of a drooling imbecile can contribute greatly to the court, and I believe that a belly-button-lint-sniffing subretard would be able to judge a case better than a non-mental-defective.

Plus, all that empathy for shiny objects and ponies with laser-beam eyes.

The Actual Quote: Notropis provides it:

"Hruska is best remembered in American political history for a 1970 speech he made to the Senate urging them to confirm the nomination of G. Harrold Carswell to the Supreme Court. Responding to criticism that Carswell had been a mediocre judge, Hruska claimed that: "Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos."[1] This speech was criticized by many, and Carswell was eventually defeated."

By the Way: The article says that another judge had to take the unusual step of acknowledging that a defendant may have been mislead (and legally injured) by this mouth-breathing half-wit's mistatement of the law. However, he's so subtle about it (assuming he's saying this at all) I just don't really get it. Maybe you need the whole background of the remark to understand.

But you might want to click on that link.



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posted by Ace at 06:34 PM

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