Blowback in the SCOTUS Wars, Part II

May 8, 2009 2:23pm

The New Republic’s Jeffrey Rosen responds today to criticism of his piece on Judge Sonia Sotomayor. (See: Blowback in the SCOTUS Wars, Part I.)

Noting that his piece prompted an "energetic response in the blogosphere," Rosen says the headline of his original story, "The Case Against Sotomayor," wasn’t quite right. The story was not intended to be the case against her, but rather "to convey questions about her judicial temperament that sources had expressed to me in the preceding weeks."

Rosen goes on to talk more about his sources — "eminent liberal scholars I know and trust" who "expressed questions about her temperament. They did not have axes to grind or personal agendas; they are Democrats who want President Obama to appoint the most effective liberal Supreme Court justices possible and were concerned Sotomayor might not meet that high standard. They put me in touch with others in the same situation- – mostly former Second Circuit clerks and prosecutors who have argued before her — and nearly all of them expressed the same view, with exceptions I noted in the piece."

He also touched on his much-criticized "confession at the end of the piece that I hadn’t read enough of her opinions to make a fully confident judgment. Perhaps I conceded too much: I had read enough of her opinions to find them good but not great — like much of the competent but not especially distinctive writing that characterizes most federal appellate opinions."

As one might expect, Rosen’s response has merited myriad strong responses from Glenn Greenwald and others.

– jpt

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