Sotomayor Has Precious Little Liberal Cred

No way to know if would-be justice is a social progressive
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2009 11:57 AM CDT
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, center, walks on crutches on her way to a meeting on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Monday, June 8, 2009.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – All the talk about race has obscured what, for liberals, ought to be the central question about Sonia Sotomayor: Is she progressive enough? There’s precious little evidence either way, writes Dayo Olopade of The Root. Sotomayor’s 2nd Circuit court leans conservative and handles mostly commercial cases; she’s never ruled on abortion, gay marriage, torture, executive power, or other issues liberals care about.

Sotomayor is often described as a “moderate.” In criminal cases, she typically sides with the government. EJ Dionne has called her “the most conservative choice that President Obama could have made,” and NARAL sent supporters a letter questioning her commitment to abortion rights and privacy. On the bright side, that nondescript record should make her easy to confirm, and she’s rumored to be the skilled behind-the-scenes operator liberals have long craved on the court.