The Sonia I know

Around the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor has developed a reputation as a thoughtful moderate, with liberal leanings, to be sure, but hardly a firebrand on a mission. She also writes excellent opinions. As a matter of fact, I teach a couple of her decisions opinions in my intellectual property courses, because they are scholarly, clear, and fair-minded.

I suppose the left will not be entirely happy with the president’s choice, and the right, not entirely unhappy. Sotomayor is a former prosecutor, and her criminal law decisions as an appellate judge seem to me to have a bit of a pro-prosecution bent. For example, her position in United States v. Santa, allowing the admission of evidence seized by the police in the course of a mistaken arrest, eventually was adopted by the Supreme Court.