Tuesday, January 5, 2010
By the end of the hour allotted to the case, Justice Sotomayor—wearing a snaky silver cuff bracelet and with her fingernails painted sports-car red—had spoken five times. The day before, in the Court’s opening session, she had spoken thirty-three times, more than any other Justice. In contrast to some of her peers, who pondered historical parallels (Justice Antonin Scalia: “What about a new Adolf Hitler?”) or posed absurdist hypotheticals (Justice Samuel Alito: “Suppose you have the Ethnic Cleansing Channel on cable TV?”), she took a nudgy, earthbound approach (“What do you mean by ‘even-handed,’ please?”). She did not traffic in punch lines or brainteasers. Her hypothetical was an actual. You could imagine Sotomayor, who had ditched the frilly jabot she had worn in her official portrait (a gift from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg), becoming curious about pit-bull documentaries and calling up some David Roma clips on YouTube to check them out for herself.
I think she's just fabulous.