“To supporters, Judge Sotomayor’s vigorous questioning of the Bush administration’s position in the [torture case of Canadian Maher Arar], showcases some of her strengths,” write the New York Times‘ Adam Liptak and Jo Becker, “But to detractors, Judge Sotomayor’s sharp-tongued and occasionally combative manner — some lawyers have described her as “difficult” and “nasty” — raises questions about her judicial temperament and willingness to listen.”
Late last month, in a case which may ultimately result in the elimination of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (which requires certain, mostly southern jurisdictions to pre-clear changes in electoral policy with the Justice Department), Justices Roberts and Kennedy went on quite a tear.Here’s how the Los Angeles Times reported the exchange between the Justice’s and Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal.
“Are Southerners more likely to discriminate than Northerners?” asked a skeptical Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
Is the “sovereignty of Georgia” entitled to less respect than “the sovereign dignity of Ohio? . . . Does the United States take that position today?” asked Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, pressing a lawyer for the Justice Department who was defending the Voting Rights Act.