Supreme Court correspondent Tony Mauro explores the "three faces" of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor following the conclusion of her testimony last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. There was the shackled Sotomayor, who as an appeals court judge bent on following precedent could not advance a personal agenda even if she had one. Republicans portrayed Sotomayor as an activist judge who puts empathy before the rule of law. And in Mauro's words: "Finally, and for Republicans the scariest of all, was the soon-to-be-unleashed Sonia Sotomayor who will reveal her long-hidden liberal stripes once she joins a Supreme Court that can do absolutely anything it wants."
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has spent much of his career as an author, radio personality, and writer and performer for "Saturday Night Live." Franken is not a lawyer. He is not alone. Not everyone on the judiciary committee holds a law degree. David Ingram examines how the non-attorney members of the committee prepared for last week's Supreme Court confirmation hearing. "Where we come up short is the language of lawyers," said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a farmer by profession.
Bingham McCutchen is back at it again, targeting a struggling firm for acquisition, Jeff Jeffrey reports. The Boston-based firm snapped up midsized Swidler Berlin in 2006, and now McKee Nelson, with its stalled profits, has agreed to become a part of Bingham. Bingham chairman Jay Zimmerman anticipates the McKee addition to bring annual firmwide gross revenue to more than $900 million.
The Federal Judges Association is bolstering its presence on Capitol Hill with a new set of lobbyists with strong Democratic ties, Carrie Levine reports. A lobbying disclosure form shows the judges association has hired Patton Boggs partner Jonathan Yarowsky, a former general counsel to the House Judiciary Committee. And the group also brought on Steve Elmendorf of Elmendorf Strategies, a one-time aide to then-House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt.