I was rooting for Harvard (Elena Kagan) instead of Yale, but another spot will open up soon.
Sotomayor has more courtroom experience (she was a prosecutor and a district judge) than any of the other justices and many are calling her the liberal Sam Alito (both went to Princeton and Yale, both were prosecutors, both were Circuit judges, and both were appointed by Bush I). Sotomayor would be the only Justice who was a district judge. Still no former criminal defense lawyers on the Court...
The blogosphere is unbelievable when you want instant information, especially about legal news. Tom Goldstein at ScotusBlog has a ton of stuff, including this interesting post. Jan Crawford Greenberg has this scoop about the interview process and the 4 finalists. The right already is gearing up to fight her (using videos like this) but as Goldstein explains, she easily will be confirmed. Volokh has a bunch of posts about the nomination and How Appealing has every article written about Sotomayor. And if you are a baseball fan, Judge Sotomayor is your pick.
It's amazing to me that the interest groups are claiming that she isn't smart enough to be on the Court. What else can she do to prove herself -- she finished first in her high school class, second in her college class and was the editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Even though she is being compared to Alito, I sure hope she is more intellectually honest than he is. Today, the Supreme Court, 5-4, overruled Michigan v. Jackson -- a case on the books for 23 years. Justice Scalia wrote the opinion and Justice Alito concurred. His concurrence was remarkable because just a couple of weeks ago, he dissented in Arizona v. Gant. There, Justice Scalia again wrote the majority opinion, receding from the holding in New York v. Belton. Belton had been on the books for 28 years, and Alito's dissent focused on stare decisis. So this time around, he would dissent againt, right? And find that stare decisis required a finding that Jackson was still good law, right? Forget it -- Alito joined Justice Scalia in overturning a long-standing precedent. Why? Because this time he was ruling against the criminal defendant. Unlike Scalia who often rules for criminal defendants (and is still in my view the most pro-defendant Justice -- although that theory took a hit today), Alito has never once ruled in favor of a criminal defendant. Not once! When stare decisis helps the government, he invokes it. When it's bad for the government, what's stare decisis. Bizarro world!Anyway, back to Sotomayor -- from what I've read about her, she seems like a solid (and safe) pick. She's obviously qualified and she will get confirmed. I think at the end of the day, she'll end up very similar to Souter, so the Court won't change that much.