During a media call today put together by Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary, a coalition of Hispanic law professors supporting the confirmation of Supreme Court pick Sonia Sotomayor repeatedly described her as a moderate judge who relies heavily on precedent when she decides cases.
“She’s very much a moderate in the mainstream of judges,” said Kevin Johnson, dean of the University of California at Davis School of Law.
Jenny Rivera, who clerked for Sotomayor in the mid-1990s and is now a law professor at CUNY School of Law, echoed that sentiment. With regard to how Sotomayor will respond to questions about controversial issues such as abortion and the Second Amendment during her confirmation hearings, Rivera said, “I anticipate that we’re going to hear her describe an approach which will be very similar to the mainstream approach.” Rivera added that Sotomayor is not an ideologue “on either end of the spectrum.”
Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary is a nonpartisan network of elected officials, lawyers, academics, and civil rights leaders. The organization announced earlier this week that the group of law professors had come together to support Sotomayor’s confirmation.
The professors emphasized that Sotomayor, who currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, has had relatively few of her opinions reversed by the Supreme Court, despite criticism to the contrary.
The Supreme Court has taken up five of Sotomayor’s decisions, and has reversed three. Johnson pointed out that Justice Samuel Alito Jr. had a 100 percent reversal rate by the Supreme Court when he was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. (The Supreme Court took up two of Alito’s rulings, reversing both.)