More on Sonia Sotomayor - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
More on Sonia Sotomayor

Obviously miffed by the Jeffrey Rosen profile of Sonia Sotomayor mentioned here the other day, in which anonymous sources called her dumb, Rob Kar, who clerked for Sotomayor on the Second Circuit, mounts a preposterously over-the-top defense:

Let me start with the obvious conclusion that anyone would draw if they were to get to know Judge Sotomayor and her work both intimately and deeply: she is an absolutely brilliant jurist and an absolutely brilliant person…

I count myself privileged to have worked closely with some of the very best minds in the world… Judge Sotomayor stands out from among these people as one of the very brightest; indeed, she is in that rarified class of people for whom it makes sense to say that there is no one genuinely smarter… Judge Sotomayor is much smarter than most people in the legal academy, and much smarter than most judges who are granted almost universal deference in situations like this. And while I have worked with numerous people who are thought of as some of the best minds in the nation, and about whom the question of brilliance would never even arise, most of them are-quite frankly-pedantic in comparison.

Sotomayor is so smart that even the world’s smartest people aren’t smart enough to comprehend her towering smartness!

Snark aside, the comments to Kar’s post recommend a couple of Sotomayor’s dissents as examples of her thinking. Her dissent in Hankins v. Lyght is indeed persuasive, and I suspect it will be passed around by her advocates in part because it uses the words “judicial restraint.” (Suffice it to say that the majority opinion is a convoluted mess, and one needn’t be “absolutely brilliant” to take it apart.) Croll v. Croll, on the other hand, is more problematic; her analysis of the issue at hand isn’t implausible, but I’m bothered by her thinly-veiled contempt for the majority’s straightforward textual analysis of the relevant treaty (governing child custody cases that cross international borders) and her willingness to pick the precedents in foreign caselaw that suit her and dismiss those that don’t.

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