Sotomayor Will Tilt Court to Left: Rosen

Dissents shows her boldly liberal on civil liberties, economy
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jun 17, 2009 2:03 PM CDT
Rosen says Sotomayor would be a strong voice for civil liberties, something the court lacks.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – Sonia Sotomayor will certainly sway the Supreme Court to the left, writes Jeffrey Rosen in the New Republic, offering an analysis of her decisions that obviously attempts to make up for his earlier, widely excoriated takedown before Sotomayor got the nod from President Obama—and before he had a studied her opinions carefully. The 21 dissents he has since analyzed reveal a Sotomayor who would add "a strong voice for civil liberties, and economic and social justice—sometimes in the majority, sometimes in dissent."

Some 63% of her dissents can be characterized as liberal, he notes, and Sotomayor shows herself to be "both crusading and open-minded." But Sotomayor is hardly a First Amendment absolutist, Rosen writes. "She'll use Scalia-like methods to achieve results that Scalia would embrace, but that in other instances would cause his head to explode."