WHO NEEDS EN­E­MIES?

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

As if hav­ing Repub­li­can law­mak­ers and con­ser­va­tive groups breath­ing down your neck were not un­set­tling enough, hun­dreds of lawyers and judges have now been tasked with turn­ing over ev­ery stone and ex­am­in­ing ev­ery shred of ev­i­dence per­tain­ing to the pro­fes­sional life of Judge So­nia So­tomayor.

Im­me­di­ately upon her nom­i­na­tion to the Supreme Court last week by Pres­i­dent Obama, a peer re­view of Judge So­tomayor was launched by the Amer­i­can Bar As­so­ci­a­tion’s Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on the Fed­eral Ju­di­ciary.

ABA Pres­i­dent H. Thomas Wells Jr. ex­plains that ev­ery mem­ber of the stand­ing com­mit­tee will par­tic­i­pate in the eval­u­a­tion. In ad­di­tion, “hun­dreds of lawyers, judges and mem­bers of the com­mu­nity” who have known Judge So­tomayor pro­fes­sion­ally will be asked to as­sess her on three key cri­te­ria: in­tegrity, pro­fes­sional com­pe­tence and ju­di­cial tem­per­a­ment.

In ad­di­tion, two pan­els of le­gal schol­ars from re­spected law schools, and a third panel of pre­em­i­nent lawyers with Supreme Court and ap­pel­late ex­pe­ri­ence “at the high­est level,” will ex­am­ine her le­gal writ­ings for qual­ity, clar­ity, knowl­edge of the law and an­a­lyt­i­cal abil­ity.

Fi­nally, Judge So­tomayor her­self will be in­ter­viewed “at length” by mem­bers of the stand­ing com­mit­tee, who will then eval­u­ate the nom­i­nee as ei­ther “well-qual­i­fied,” “qual­i­fied” or “not qual­i­fied.” The peer re­view is then sent to the Se­nate, where mem­bers will weigh it along with what­ever they have com­piled.

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