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June 29, 2009
CRS Analysis of Sotomayor's Opinions: "Most consistent characteristic ... has been an adherence to stare decisis."
In the CRS report, Judge Sonia Sotomayor: Analysis of Selected Opinions (June 19, 2009), Anna C. Henning and Kenneth R. Thomas provide an analysis of selected opinions authored by Judge Sotomayor during her tenure as a judge on the Second Circuit. "As a group," the authors conclude, "the opinions belie easy categorization along any ideological spectrum."
From the Report:
Perhaps the most consistent characteristic of Judge Sotomayor’s approach as an appellate judge has been an adherence to the doctrine of stare decisis, i.e., the upholding of past judicial precedents. Other characteristics appear to include what many would describe as a careful application of particular facts at issue in a case and a dislike for situations in which the court
might be seen as oversteping its judicial role.
It is difficult to determine the extent to which Judge Sotomayor’s style as a judge on the Second Circuit would predict her style should she become a Supreme Court justice. However, as has been the case historically with other nominees, some of her approaches may be enduring characteristics.
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