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Rosen Vindicated?

McClatchy's Michael Doyle consults the attorney evaluations of Supreme Court short-listers, Judges Sonia Sotomayor, Diane Wood, and Ann Williams. From his "quick read" he concludes: "Rosen may have been on to something with his piece, discomforting as it may have been . . . "

UPDATE: On the other hand, Rob Kar notes Sotomayor's evaluations are worse than they used to be, and wonders about the source of the apparent discrepancies.

Wings:
Seems no worse than Scalia. People attacking her for being "vindictive"... also I liked this one:


"She can be a bit of a bully. She is an active questioner."


Asking questions is hardly a bad thing for a lawyer to do.
5.11.2009 10:44pm
Smitty3L:
Generally, is temperament more or less important on appellate courts than trial courts? My quick stab at it is that temperament is more important at the trial court level. Its important to get it right the first time, which means that judges should be thoughtful, considerate, and deliberate with their decisions. In short, they need a "judicial temperament".

On the other hand, does it really matter if an appellate court judge is a "bully", or "nasty towards lawyers"? I interned in an appellate court last summer, and after sitting in a room doing Westlaw searches all day and having very little human interaction it seems forgivable to be a bit nasty to lawyers at oral argument.
5.11.2009 10:57pm
AlanDownunder (mail):
If there were no existing bully on the SC bench who needed to be counterbalanced by a bully of a different stripe, it seems you'd go for Wood or Williams. But since that is not the case ...
5.11.2009 11:01pm
Middle Name Ralph:
I thought Rosen's piece was a hatchet job and still think it was poor journalism. But, ever since I read Sotomayor's blurb, I will not shed a tear for her if she's passed over. Sotomayor's judicial almanac blurb is actually pretty bad relatively speaking. I cannot stand arrogant judges.

As a liberal, I do not want Obama to pick her. People with her temperment rarely make effective advocates or persuade colleagues. She'd be a sure vote but wouldn't do anything to build winning coalitions on the court. We can do better.
5.11.2009 11:48pm
Middle Name Ralph:
My current favorite and prediction is Napalitano.
5.11.2009 11:50pm
RPT (mail):
Is this serious? Lawyers complaining and scare headlines like "Rosen vindicated" because an appellate court judge asks hard questions? Do these people actually practice law? This may be among the most lame threads ever. True character assassination.
5.11.2009 11:50pm
Volokh Groupie:
Who floated Napalitano? They do realize Ron Paul isn't president right?

Either way, I'm not convinced this vindicates Rosen but I also don't think his article amounted to 'character assassination'. SS does seem to be Scalia-esque in terms of her demeanor but I'm not sure whether that should be a negative.

And does Ann Williams actually have a shot? She's got a great story and seems fairly impressive, but is she liberal enough?

I'm putting my money on Wardlaw.
5.12.2009 12:11am
Christopher M (mail):
I know a lot of frequent commenters here aren't going to buy into this line of thinking at all, but it has to be said: if you look through the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, and you actually know the personalities of a good set of the judges described, there is no question that male and female judges with similar temperaments and styles are evaluated differently. It seems like you're either open to this idea, in which case it seems pretty clear, or you're not, in which case it seems like pure political correctness, but it's true. That isn't to say that other people might not have a better judicial temperament than Sotomayor...it's just to say that, as a general rule, mutatis mutandis, the range of temperament that you can get away with as a woman is much narrower than it would be if you were a man.
5.12.2009 12:19am
Michael2134 (mail):
@ Christopher M


....which is why this author compared Judge Sotomayor to two other female judges on the same court. If it's misogyny that's to blame, why do both of the other females have spotless ratings?
5.12.2009 12:34am
Some dude:
Are the most qualified candidates really all women? I only ask because women dominate all the short-lists I've seen. Has anyone done a study on this?
5.12.2009 12:38am
Volokh Groupie:
@some dude

i'm not sure if you're baiting or just don't know---in any event the conventional wisdom is that the President agrees with RBG's recent comments and thinks there needs to be a better gender balance on the bench

considering there are a number of intelligent and liberal female candidates for the position, its no surprise those are the names we are seeing
5.12.2009 12:41am
Chico's Bail Bonds (mail):
Rosen Vindicated?

No.

This has been another edition of simple answers to stupid questions.
5.12.2009 12:47am
Jay:
I'm guessing the commenter meant Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, not the Fox News judge.
5.12.2009 12:49am
Blar (mail) (www):
Almost all of the negative comments are about Sotomayor's aggressive temperament, but the main controversy was over Rosen's claims about her intelligence and legal acumen. On that topic, there are several positive comments and only one that's at all negative. A single quote in the AFJ hardly counts as vindication.
5.12.2009 1:08am
zuch (mail) (www):
Michael2134 (mail):
@ Christopher M

....which is why this author compared Judge Sotomayor to two other female judges on the same court. If it's misogyny that's to blame, why do both of the other females have spotless ratings?
That's not what Christopher said. He didn't say that all women did (or should have) similar temperaments. What he said was that a man might get different ratings than a woman with the same temperament.

Cheers,
5.12.2009 1:13am
Volokh Groupie:
@Jay

On second thought, Janet does make more sense and I feel like a dunce. Thanks for the correction though.

@Blar

Rosen also referred to anonymous clerks who critiqued her intelligence. There's obviously a chance for bias amongst the critics but the same is true for her supporters (for example Robin Kar isn't exactly an unbiased source)
5.12.2009 1:20am
Cornellian (mail):
Please, Mr. President, no politician nominees, they have an entirely different skill set and are hardly ever suitable candidates for the bench.

I also dislike angry, abrasive judges. Nominate someone with a suitable temperament.
5.12.2009 1:44am
EverydayLiberal (mail):
Zounds! Doyle uses anonymous sources for this analysis - thus it is obviously illegitimate. NEXT.
5.12.2009 1:48am
Public_Defender (mail):
Does the Almanac have a way to stop people from posting false reviews? Could a small handful of attorneys (or non-attorneys) get together and turn a good review bad by posting lots of negative reviews? Maybe the Almanac has quality control checks. I ask because I don't know the answer.

As far as I know, Sotomayor's colleagues were not known as top-tier SCOTUS potential nominees. I could see how a small group of activists could target a judge. Also, Rosen said that some prosecutors don't like Sotomayor. Too many prosecutors are used to winning so often that they get frustrated and angry when a judge doesn't dance to their tune.

In the end, I'm sure that Obama has contacts he trusts who can give him the real scoop. As an Obama supporter, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on this call.
5.12.2009 6:46am
DWF2 (mail):
Public_Defender raises a very interesting question, especially because Judge Sotomayor had nearly all positive reviews in the AFJ until recently.
5.12.2009 7:58am
fishbane (mail):
I'm curious - why, exactly, are so many folks suddenly trying to gun down Sotomayor? Put aside real or imagined arrogance, intelligence, gender, racial, etc. issues for a second. There seems to be a seriously interesting attempt to make her radioactive to nominate. This isn't happening to any other folks who (very generally, very broad-brush) share her politics and are on the conventional wisdom short-list.

So who did she piss off, and over what? At least a one of us non-beltway folks are curious.
5.12.2009 8:14am
Joe T Guest:
Are the most qualified candidates really all women? I only ask because women dominate all the short-lists I've seen. Has anyone done a study on this?


Yes, they are, but only because there are, as far as we know, no transgendered judges of color.
5.12.2009 8:32am
Derrick (mail):
@fishbane

She obviously pissed off Rosen's friends, and Republicans (who can blame 'em) have jumped on the bandwagon. None of this in anyway vindicates Rosen by the way. Most people weren't as angered by his stabs at her temperment, as they were at his badly sourced contention that she was somehow a lightweight.

@somedude

It's funny how people never think to turn around their own question, just for basic fairness sake. Did you ask yourself when Bush was appointing Roberts and Alito if there weren't any qualified candidates other than white guys?
5.12.2009 8:46am
Ben P:

This is a curious morphing of the Argument that Rosen made. At least as I read it.

To pick one sentence from Rosen's Article. He argued Sotomayor was


They [unamed sources] expressed questions about her temperament, her judicial craftsmanship, and most of all, her ability to provide an intellectual counterweight to the conservative justices, as well as a clear liberal alternative.


What I took away from that was that Sotomayor was first dumb, and second of poor temperament.

The "Dumb" part seems to have vanished in the arguments about Rosen's misuse of a footnote, and the judicial Almanac describes Sotomayor as "Frighteningly Smart."

But Rosen is somehow vindicated when the second (and almost minor as I reread the article, it gets about a single sentance of description) point in his article turns out to have some backing.
5.12.2009 8:48am
Ben P:
RE: fishbane

Even if there isn't something personal here, I think it's plausible to interpret this as just partisanship. Sotomayor is in some ways perceived to be Obama's leading choice out of the gate. It would be much easier to derail her pre-emptively than in the hearing, and subsequently force Obama to go with his "second choice" whoever that may be.
5.12.2009 8:51am
fishbane (mail):
I get that, Derrick. I'm just wondering if anyone knows specifics - Rosen's rant was an embarrassing hit piece, to be sure (and I don't really see how Doyle's post really provides much cover, honestly).

Rosen sawed on a limb he was sitting with quite a bit of vigor. And I get that Republicans are happy to provide a Dali-esque crutch to hold him up because - hey - maybe _this_ tantrum will get some traction. I just can't suspend disbelief long enough to buy the idea that this is a disinterested character assassination, and am wondering who's toes she stomped on.
5.12.2009 9:01am
drunkdriver:
Smitty3L wrote: Generally, is temperament more or less important on appellate courts than trial courts? My quick stab at it is that temperament is more important at the trial court level.

Your intuition is correct, the appellate judge sees you for less than an hour, the trial judge may see you for weeks at a time at the trial. Many of his rulings are discretionary; and many of your contacts happen without a court reporter (pretrial conferences, etc.) A clever district judge can sometimes screw you so badly that you would have virtually no chance of reversing him on appeal. Look at Manuel Real of LA-- sure, he's got some high-profile reversals. Much more that he's done has been buried because the parties can't appeal. Look at this matter- he was declared "wrong," after he stuck an innocent landlord with $35,000 in lost rental income; to many people, that amount would be financially ruinous.

An appellate judge with bad temperament is less of a concern, and also is only one of three, or more, judges handling your case. You see them for less than an hour. But it's still a concern.

I have no idea if Sotomayor's temperament is really as her critics charge. Regarding her evaluations getting worse- that could be a result of a conspiracy, but it could also be a result of a change in her own behavior.

Note that a few years ago, the ABA rated a circuit court nominee unqualified in part because of his "temperament" (though you do have to wonder if they would do the same for a nominee who shared their ideology).

Personally I think we're getting ahead of ourselves handicapping her demeanor and opinion quality. Nobody's nominated yet . . .
5.12.2009 9:22am
Anon321:
I think several people have gotten the impression (bolstered somewhat by Doyle's post) that great judges don't get bad reviews in the AFJ. The conventional wisdom seems to be that the lawyers' evaluations are generally so inflated that if a judge gets anything bad, it's a serious red flag. I thought I'd try to disabuse people of that notion (which I shared until recently) by posting some negative comments included in the lawyers' evaluations of two judges who are generally extremely highly regarded, Kozinski and Easterbrook. Again, this only picks out the negative comments, for the purpose of showing that the inclusion of such comments is not particularly unusual or reserved only for subpar jurists:

Alex Kozinski. "He has O.K. legal skills. He is too smart for his own good. He has the brains, but does not necessarily use it well." "He has a very high level of intellect, but it's not always used wisely." "His demeanor is terrible. He does not suffer fools or anyone else. He is as arrogant as can be. He belittles and demeans lawyers." "He is demeaning and unprofessional with lawyers. If he does not like your case, you have a problem. Minimize the damage and move on." "He treats some lawyers shabbily." "Ill-prepared lawyers get destroyed verbally. His questions bend the truth to suit his needs. His questions are factual, but distorted. He is very active. He is not my favorite judge." "He knows where he wants the case to go before the proceedings start. Be ready to be chastised. Stick to your guns. He will ask hypotheticals. He beats lawyers up in oral arguments, and it has gotten worse over the last few years." "He likes to be the center of attention. If you show him any personal weakness or weakness in your case, he will exploit it. Protect yourself. He appears to be polite, but enjoys beating up lawyers. Do not give him the opportunity. He is not my favorite. He is a very active panel member." "His opinions are long winded. They are scholarly, but there is some spouting about his biased position."

Frank Easterbrook. "He is quite the scholarly person who totally has a personal agenda when he is on the bench. It is his way or the highway." He is by far my least favorite judge on any bench in any jurisdiction. He is a smart man who unfortunately uses his brains to inflict pain on unsuspecting lawyers." "He has a brilliant legal mind which is used primarily for bad." "He has a brilliant mind that he uses for negative purposes." Lawyers were critical in their assessment of Easterbrook's courtroom demeanor. "His courtroom demeanor is not good for lawyers." "He creates a discourteous environment in the courtroom. He likes to circle his kill and gives a nod and a wink to his clerk when he catches his prey." "He seems sometimes oblivious to a lawyers' representation of his or her client. Sometimes he lacks a human touch." "He enjoys making lawyers squirm. He likes to go in for the kill and show off to the clerks that are present. He will badger lawyers until his point is made." "He berates lawyers mercilessly if that is the direction he is going. If he is with you, be quiet, and if he opposes your position watch out and get ready to be embarrassed in open court. He berates lawyers. It is almost a game to him." "If you are on the right side, it is fun. If you're on the wrong side, it is hell. The rules of civility for the circuit have not reined him in." "He has no clue what it is like to practice law and to be a judge. I think his sole purpose in life is to abuse lawyers. He bullies weak lawyers and enjoys it." "His attitude is the worst. He berates lawyers and shows off to his clerks how powerful and smart he is. If he is on your side it can be fun, but if his position opposes yours, watch out. The rules of civility have not worked on him." "His questions seem intended to embarrass lawyers." "His questions are based solely on his agenda. He deals in hypothetical points and not the law. He wants to be the center of attention and is extremely active in his questioning." "His questions are all related to his ultimate agenda. He wants to make his point. He is the most active in questioning--he loves to be the center of attention." "He makes his mind up early and punishes those around him from there forward." "His writing is very lengthy and is filled with legalese. He wants to be scholarly, but winds up showing off."

It may be that Sotomayor's evaluations are different or worse than these. But I thought people might like to know that it's simply not the case that only crummy, second-rate judges get bad reviews.
5.12.2009 10:30am
drunkdriver:
Anon321, great point. We could probably expect that a really good circuit judge would provoke lots of reaction, good and bad, from lawyers. At the same time, the really good circuit judge is often passed over, in front of the really cautious candidate who made an effort not to offend or leave a bold paper trail. But that is different from saying Sotomayor is unqualified.
5.12.2009 10:50am
Terrivus:
Anon321,

Yes, but Kozinski and Easterbrook have never seriously been considered for the Supreme Court, outside of their loyal fan bases. For both, it's as much due to their occasionally (or frequently) abrasive personalities as much as their judicial views.

Additionally, yes, there are well-regarded judges who have some negative comments in the AFJ. The question is whether one judge has a significant number of them as compared to other judges who are also in consideration for a nomination. And if you stack Sotomayor up against, say, Wood or Williams, the latter two simply don't have anywhere near the negative commentary about their temperament or, more important, their legal ability or written work that Sotomayor does.

The bottom line is that anyone familiar with the AFJ would take one look at Sotomayor's entry and conclude that she is not anything special. Perhaps this is not enough to preclude her from a nomination, especially if the administration really wants to get a Hispanic, up-from-nowhere nominee. But if they're looking for a real heavy hitter, liberal star -- a liberal Scalia, as is often said -- there seem to be better options out there.
5.12.2009 11:25am
GD:
"It's funny how people never think to turn around their own question, just for basic fairness sake. Did you ask yourself when Bush was appointing Roberts and Alito if there weren't any qualified candidates other than white guys?"

Do the names Estrada, Garza, Mahoney, Rogers Brown, Owen, Batchelder or Sykes ring a bell? Harriet Miers?
5.12.2009 11:34am
rosetta's stones:
Anon, those are some hilarious comments:


He has a very high level of intellect, but it's not always used wisely."

He appears to be polite, but enjoys beating up lawyers.

He has a brilliant legal mind which is used primarily for bad."

He likes to circle his kill and gives a nod and a wink to his clerk when he catches his prey."

He has no clue what it is like to practice law and to be a judge.

I think his sole purpose in life is to abuse lawyers.


Fair to say these guys get the lion's share in their courtrooms.
5.12.2009 11:40am
Middle Name Ralph:

Rosen sawed on a limb he was sitting with quite a bit of vigor. And I get that Republicans are happy to provide a Dali-esque crutch to hold him up because - hey - maybe _this_ tantrum will get some traction. I just can't suspend disbelief long enough to buy the idea that this is a disinterested character assassination, and am wondering who's toes she stomped on.


The conspiracy minded speculate that the hit job is not so much motivated to get back at Sotomayor. Rather, Sotomayor is seen as a (the?) leading candidate and therefore supporters of other short listers might want to tear her down to increase the likelihood of their favorite being selected.
5.12.2009 12:38pm
Hank Gillette:
Exactly what is wrong with a judge asking a question that makes one of the lawyers squirm? Wouldn't that be because the judge zeroed in on a weak point in the lawyer's argument?
5.12.2009 12:40pm
fishbane (mail):
Rather, Sotomayor is seen as a (the?) leading candidate and therefore supporters of other short listers might want to tear her down to increase the likelihood of their favorite being selected.

I could buy that. It is less satisfying than assuming Rosen was spoon-fed from a single source, but given Beltway behavior, that probably makes more sense. A shame, really - a minor conspiracy could be fun right about now.

And I apologize for the egregious mixing of metaphors in my post. I didn't have enough time to write a shorter post.
5.12.2009 12:53pm
drunkdriver:
Exactly what is wrong with a judge asking a question that makes one of the lawyers squirm? Wouldn't that be because the judge zeroed in on a weak point in the lawyer's argument?

Are you a lawyer? No one has suggested that is not ok. There is a vast difference between that, and abusive conduct. I cannot speak about Sotomayor but Easterbrook has been guilty of that many, many times. I'm wondering why you can't see the difference, but if you're a nonlawyer it's more understandable.
5.12.2009 12:57pm
levisbaby:
So if one passes along anonymous slanders and it later turns out that the target of the slander is, in fact, an asshole, is that a vindication?

Interesting.
5.12.2009 1:11pm
krs:
Interesting. The post making the case that Judge Sotomayor is absolutely flawless is here. Apparently anyone who's worked near her and still has anything negative to say is motivated by either malice or unsettled by her brilliance. Rosen's sources apparently fall into those categories. It's almost like Chuck Norris Facts, except written by a law professor who's apparently absolutely serious.

It's worth reading, but lays it on extremely thick. At one point it basically says "if you want to understand what I mean by my gushing blog post, allow me to quote at length from a similar gushing piece I wrote seven years ago." No examples of anything she's done or any detail, so of course all of the superlatives are utterly unassailable. I'm unfamiliar with Judge Sotomayor, so Prof. Kar may well be correct.

I've been unimpressed by all of the coverage of Sotomayor so far. The best thing I've seen so far is actually the comment on this thread comparing her Almanac comments to those for Easterbrook and Kozinski, with whom I'm much more familiar. I've read Easterbrook's opinions since law school concerning difficult issues I've studied, and I've heard mp3s of Easterbrook giving lawyers a hard time, and it was usually because they're arguments were stupid, so I have a bit of context for his evaluations.

Offhand, the only Sotomayor opinion I knew of before this year was a trade dress opinion she wrote as a district judge, Krueger Int'l v. Nightingale, Inc., 915 F. Supp. 595 (SDNY 1996) that we studied in law school. My professor thought it was a really good opinion, and better reasoned than later Supreme Court cases on the same issue.

In any event, I hope that some unbiased, attributed, and decent information comes out eventually, but I'm not holding my breath. I hope Obama chooses a good Justice to replace Souter, and I hope that Judge Sotomayor is treated fairly by people who feel the need to write about her. Prof. Kar and others have admirably defended someone they think highly of in the face of anonymous attacks, but the signal-to-noise ratio in this discussion is extremely poor.
5.12.2009 2:06pm
Volokh Groupie:
Again, lets not pretend somebody like Kar doesn't have a bias. The people quoted against SS may definitely have had a bias, but a former clerk isn't exactly an unbiased source.
5.12.2009 2:11pm
Roy Englert:
I agree with commenter krs that the signal-to-noise ratio in the public discussion of Judge Sotomayor is extremely poor. Nevertheless, with enough time devoted to studying Judge Sotomayor, one can learn a few things that don't depend on the biases of people who are her strong boosters or seem to be her strong detractors. Here are a few things I have found interesting.

1) Judge Sotomayor not only graduated summa cum laude from Princeton, but also won the Pyne Prize, given to no more than two students in each graduating class of 1000+. For us Princeton grads, the Pyne Prize is a very big deal. It is awarded only to students who really stand out from the crowd, in a positive way, academically AND otherwise. I know well from experience that the best undergraduate performers aren't always the best lawyers, let alone judges, let alone Justices, but I doubt Judge Sotomayor went from undergraduate superstar to intellectual mediocrity or worse, as her harshest critics suggest.

2) In comments to his article, Professor Kar was asked to identify some Sotomayor opinions worth reading, and he listed five. I've read those five opinions. I am not ready to conclude that they are stellar, but some are very good (and all, unfortunately, are long). The dissent in Hankins v. Lyght, 441 F.3d 96 (2d Cir. 2006), was the one I thought was the most impressive. The dissent from denial of rehearing in banc in Koehler v. Bank of Bermuda (New York) Ltd., 229 F.3d 187 (2d Cir. 2000), also seems unanswerably right, and the opinion in Krimstock v. Kelly, 306 F.3d 40 (2d Cir. 2002), is good.

3) My own first very significant exposure to an opinion by Judge Sotomayor involved an effort to seek Supreme Court review of In re Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation, 280 F.3d 124 (2d Cir. 2001), an opinion I thought was very bad. But the worst parts of that opinion followed from the earlier opinion in Caridad v. Metro-North Commuter Railroad, 191 F.3d 283 (2d Cir. 1999) (Newman, J.). I think it is a very great credit to the judicial approach of both Judge Newman and Judge Sotomayor that they both participated in the unanimous opinion in In re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, 471 F.3d 24 (2d Cir. 2006), which effectively overruled the partes of Caridad and Visa that were incorrect and troublesome. All things considered, I regard the overall pattern as being to Judge Sotomayor's credit. Whatever else she may be stubborn about, she is capable of recognizing some past mistakes and correcting them. That's a characteristic we need in Supreme Court Justices.

4) I disagree with almost everyone who has talked publicly about the suggestions in the Rosen piece and in the FJA that Judge Sotomayor can be a bully at oral argument. It is simplistic to contend, as some Sotomayor defenders do, that the reputation for being a bully at oral argument means nothing more than being hard on unprepared lawyers. I've done a lot of appellate arguments, some before judges who tried to be bullies, and rarely was the bullying the result of my lack of preparation. It is also simplistic to contend, as some Sotomayor defenders do, that the reputation for being a bully at oral argument is purely a product of sexism or racism. There may well be SOME sexism and racism at work, but plenty of women and minorities have reputations for asking tough but not bullying questions at oral argument. Finally, I do not agree with the Sotomayor defenders that this alleged characteristic is completely irrelevant. Being on a nine-member court requires a certain amount of judiciousness and cooperation, so if it's really true that Judge Sotomayor is a bully then it is something to hold against her. HOWEVER, her critics go too far in suggesting that it is a big factor. It is of some importance but far less important than other characteristics. The Sotomayor critics also go too far in placing a lot of weight on anonymous comments to this effect. If she really has a record of inappropriate behavior on the bench, there will be public records of such behavior -- which, so far, I have not seen. The judicial temperament issue should be considered in the case of Judge Sotomayor and every other candidate, but it should be considered on the basis of real information, not unverifiable innuendo, and it should not be given excessive weight.
5.12.2009 6:55pm
Stew (mail):
I wish the process wouldn't be about character assassination and instead be based on the actual merit of their judicial decisions. There are many legitimate reasons for opposing Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, including her most recent opinion that came out last Wednesday, where she went out of her way to affirm a dismissal of a suit on grounds the defense never even raised. Young versus GM. Google it. It could lead to older Americans not being able to retire, and instead working til they die. If it isn't bad enough that everyone's investments have plummeted, Sotomayor doesn't even let the average worker their day in court!
5.12.2009 7:34pm
drunkdriver:
Stew,

I encourage you to read the decision you are talking about. You say it was dismissed "on grounds the defense never even raised" but in fact it was quite explicitly resolved on "defendants' alternative argument that the action should be dismissed under" 12(b)(6) (page 2). This was a ground that the district court did not consider; but it was, quite clearly, a ground that the defense raised.
5.12.2009 9:54pm
AndrewK (mail):
Judge Wood has no negs and also had been listed as a top-tier candidate for a S.Ct. nomination. So the argument for "gaming" would suggest that the anonymous assailants knew more than Obama about nominations at the time they made the comments.

In fact, in terms of sheer legal ability, I have heard so much good about Judge Wood, and not anything like with respect to Judge Sotomayer. So I'm inclined to take the (admittedly anecdotal) evidence at face-value.
5.13.2009 2:37pm
Court Watcher (mail):
Did anyone catch the piece 60 minutes did about 401k plans and fee disclosure? George Miller is trying to protect the American people from Wall Street and judges like Wood and Sotomayor. At least one branch of government is watching out for us. Let's hope Obama is too!
5.14.2009 11:42am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Public_Defender raises a very interesting question, especially because Judge Sotomayor had nearly all positive reviews in the AFJ until recently.
I love these games of telephone, where things get distorted more and more as they bounce around. That post in no way says that she "had nearly all positive reviews in the AFJ until recently." That post says that in one older version of the AFJ, she had positive comments.
5.15.2009 6:23am

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