Sotomayor’s Blunt Style Raises Issue of Temperament
By JO BECKER and ADAM LIPTAK
Published: May 28, 2009
WASHINGTON — Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s Supreme Court choice, has a blunt and even testy side, and it was on display in December during an argument before the federal appeals court in New York. The case concerned a Canadian man who said American officials had sent him to Syria to be tortured, and Judge Sotomayor peppered a government lawyer with skeptical questions.
“So the minute the executive raises the specter of foreign policy, national security,” Judge Sotomayor asked the lawyer, Jonathan F. Cohn, “it is the government’s position that that is a license to torture anyone?”
Mr. Cohn managed to get out two and a half words: “No, your hon—— .”
Judge Sotomayor cut him off, then hit him with two more questions and a flat declaration of what she said was his position. The lawyer managed to say she was wrong, but could not clarify the point until the chief judge, Dennis G. Jacobs, stepped in, asking, “Why don’t we just get the position?”
To supporters, Judge Sotomayor’s vigorous questioning of the Bush administration’s position in the case of the Canadian, Maher Arar, showcases some of her strengths. She is known as a formidably intelligent judge with a prodigious memory who meticulously prepares for oral arguments and is not shy about grilling the lawyers who appear before her to ensure that she fully understands their arguments.
But to detractors, Judge Sotomayor’s sharp-tongued and occasionally combative manner — some lawyers have described her as “difficult” and “nasty” — raises questions about her judicial temperament and willingness to listen. Her demeanor on the bench is an issue that conservatives opposed to her nomination see as a potential vulnerability — and one that Mr. Obama carefully considered before selecting her.
Judge Sotomayor’s colleagues on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit say her tough and direct questioning reflects engagement and, sometimes, an effort to persuade her colleagues. Those qualities, coupled with a gregarious personality, they said, make her a powerful force behind the scenes, where she has used her mastery of the cases to change minds, improve opinions and forge consensus.
Rest of article at link above.
Let me explain to you why I gave this piece of so-called reporting the ' side eye'.
It's because I'm a highly educated THINKING Black woman that speaks my mind and knows how to debate.
Why do I just get the feeling that Sonia Sotomayor comes to her job PREPARED, and expects everyone else that arrives before her to also be prepared?
Why do I get the feeling that she doesn't suffer fools in silence?
Why do I just get the feeling that this is about a Latina Woman being on her p's and q's, and having the ' audacity' to challenge folks that never come across someone like her unless they're doing something in a service industry position?
Why am I getting flashbacks of 'ANGRY' Michelle Obama running through my mind?
Now, could be....Sotomayor could be hell on wheels in a courtroom.
But, I'm just a-sayin'...
due to my LIFE EXPERIENCES as an Educated Black Professional Woman...
I believe I come to this story with more than few DOUBTS about its underlying tone.