Antonin Scalia

Mother Jones: "Sotomayor doesn't write very well"


Mother Jones' Stephanie Mencimer says Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sonomayor is a lousy writer:

Sotomayor's opinions read like she's still following a formula she learned in college and show little of the smart narratives employed by the federal judiciary's brightest lights. Sotomayor's impenetrable legal opus stands in striking contrast to much of the work produced by the court she aspires to. Supreme Court opinions, the best ones, are words for the generations….

The court's influence and lasting legacy is what it commits to paper. Sotomayor may be a force of nature in the courtroom, where she's said to shine, but it's hard to imagine her going head to head in print with, say, Antonin Scalia. The conservative justice is the master of the wicked one-liner and, while something of a smart aleck, he influences the public debate on so many issues because of his writing—whether he's in the majority or dissenting and whether he's right or wrong. Scalia's opinions are cited in leading constitutional law casebooks more than any other sitting justice….

The nine justices of the Supreme Court are supposed to be champions of the Constitution entrusted with preserving key individual rights. How they express their opinions can be as important as their conclusions.

Rest here.

Mother Jones isn't exactly a right-wing publication. Perhaps there's more liberal discontent with Sotomayor's nomination than Obama expected.

(Via The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog)