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Sotomayor's Record Sets Off Few Ideological Alarm Bells

Publication Date: 
May 27, 2009
Los Angeles Times
David G. Savage and Christi Parsons

Lecturer in Law for the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic Kevin Russell and Lecturer in Law Thomas Goldstein are quoted in the Los Angeles Times in an article about President Obama's Supreme Court pick Sonia Sotomayor:

In nominating Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, President Obama tapped a veteran jurist whose humble upbringing and moderate-to-liberal record is unlikely to trigger an ideological battle in the Senate.

Sotomayor, 54, would be the first Latino on the court. Legal experts said that her narrowly written opinions resembled those of the justice she would replace, David H. Souter. She has not ruled squarely on controversial issues such as gay rights or abortion.


"She is a moderate liberal who often rules in favor of corporations and against civil rights plaintiffs," said Kevin Russell, a Washington lawyer who has studied her writings in recent weeks.


Washington lawyer Thomas Goldstein, who appears regularly before the high court, predicted that Sotomayor would not be the outspoken liberal some on the left had hoped for.

"On the modern court, she's on the center left, pretty much right in line with Justice Souter," he said, based on an analysis of her opinions. "Back in the day of the Warren court, she certainly would have been regarded as a moderate."