Many in our midst have spent the past few days (if not weeks) digging for SOMETHING on SCOTUS nominee Sonia Sotomayor -- whether dirt, info, gossip, or substantive tidbits -- to fuel the hearty appetites of all who plan to participate in the looming confirmation battle. But, as this blogress observed in the immediate aftermath of SS's official debut, POTUS and his team may have selected a virtually bulletproof candidate ... which would mean some very sore paws for the most avid diggers, but probably no buried bone.
Not to worry, groupies! No smoking gun doesn't have to mean "Caution: months of boredom ahead." An article in yesterday's NYT described the fascinating path traveled by Team POTUS on their search for a golden nominee. If you thought that we were living in an era of transparent virtue and relentless sunshine: think again. Apparently, the nominee selection process required stealth, intrigue, and (gasp!) even minor subterfuge. Hours of POTUS's time were blocked out under the designation "Chief of Staff Strategy" in order to disguise the true nature of the handwringing underway; meetings took place around adviser Cynthia Hogan's kitchen table ("more coffee, POTUS?"), and a crucial moment in the decision-making process appears to be closely linked to POTUS's ingestion of a salad.
And take heart, gossip seekers: there are a few rumblings afoot which promise to add color to the debate ahead. Sure, some are relatively understated, like the news that SS is rockin' diabetes, and failed to vote in two recent New York State elections. But this blogress is most intrigued by reports about SS's famously "sharp tongue."
As we all know, Professor Jeffrey Rosen was lambasted when, pre-nomination, he quoted anonymous sources who called SS a "bully," among other things. Now, in the cold light of day, critics and supporters alike have gone on-record to express their concerns about Sotomayor's "judicial temperament." Specifically, some have wondered whether she has expressed an appropriately Supreme level of "judicial modesty," while others have predicted that the sassy Sotomayor would sizzle too loudly on the bench.
One oft-cited example of SS's feistiness: her rigorous questioning of counsel at oral argument in a case concerning a detainee's allegations of torture against POTUS's predecessors. Indeed, the transcripts show, SS came so close to benchslapping the government attorney that Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs had to delicately rescue said attorney from the heat of her grilling. Others defend Judge Sotomayor, noting that her questioning is a mere outgrowth of her "formidable" intelligence and tendency to uber-prepare. Still others -- such as attorneys Sheema Chaudhry and Gerald Lefcourt -- describe SS as "judgmental" (perhaps an odd word choice, given that we are talking about a judge), "temperamental," and "more strident and vocal" that her colleagues. Others have called SS a "terror on the bench" who "behaves in an out-of-control manner."
Meow! Clerquette is delighted by the questions presented by a bench occupied by both Nino AND a sharp-tongued, no-nonsense girl from the hood. Could we be in for the hottest bench One First Street has seen? Some internecine warfare? A battle for primacy, the likes of which have not been seen since Barbara Walters and Rosie O'Donnell sparred for the soul of The View?
If any of these scenarios -- or another, as yet unimagined -- comes to pass, it will, at the very least, be fodder for Sotomayor: the Movie. Not in your Netflix queue, you say? Well, dear readers, it's still in development. But you can check out these brilliant casting proposals, courtesy of the folks over at the Daily Beast. In the meantime, the DivaWatch continues.
And remember: A3G and I await your questions for SS. Send them, and she will come.
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