Supreme Court Nominations

CRS on Sotomayor: Hard to Categorize, Like Souter

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In a report reviewing past decisions of U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service determined she’s difficult to categorize.

Veteran Supreme Court reporter Tony Mauro observed in a Blog of Legal Times post that the report draws conclusions that “lend support to her advocates’ assertions that she is far from an extreme liberal.”

“As a group, the opinions belie easy categorization along any ideological spectrum,” states the 59-page document (PDF) released Thursday.

The report further concludes that, “Perhaps the most consistent characteristic of Judge Sotomayor’s approach as an appellate judge has been an adherence to the doctrine of stare decisis, i.e., the upholding of past judicial precedents. Other characteristics appear to include what many would describe as a careful application of particular facts at issue in a case and a dislike for situations in which the court might be seen as overstepping its judicial role.”

In terms of who she’d be most like? The report says, Justice David Souter, who she’s slated to replace if confirmed.

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