Glenn Greenwald responds to Jeffrey Rosen's article on Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
My perception of Sotomayor is almost the exact opposite of the picture painted by Rosen. I had a generally low opinion of the intellect of most judges -- it's one of the things I disliked most about the practice of law -- but I found her to be extremely perceptive, smart, shrewd and intellectually insightful. The image that has been instantaneously created of her as some sort of doltish mediocrity, based on nothing but Rosen's water-cooler chatter, is, at least to me, totally unrecognizable. Of the countless federal judges with whom I had substantive interaction over more than ten years of litigation, I would place her in the top tier when it comes to intellect. My impressions are very much in line with the author of this assessment of Sotomayor, who had much more extensive interaction with her and -- unlike Rosen's chatterers -- has the courage to attach his name to his statements. . . .
. . . Rosen's gossip has, in many places, already solidified as conventional wisdom about Sotomayor: if Obama selects her, it will mean that he has subordinated merit and intellect to gender and ethnic diversity.
Sotomayor's decades of achievement in the face of overwhelming obstacles just gets dismissed with a few slothful, totally irresponsible smears from Rosen and his invisible friends. But that's how "journalism" so often works -- people are allowed to remain hidden while their views and assertions are uncritically amplified in the loudest venues and bestowed with an authoritative veneer that they absolutely do not merit.