Sotomayer reversal rate

Washington Times:

With Judge Sonia Sotomayor already facing questions over her 60 percent reversal rate, the Supreme Court could dump another problem into her lap next month if, as many legal analysts predict, the court overturns one of her rulings upholding a race-based employment decision.

Three of the five majority opinions written by Judge Sotomayor for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and reviewed by the Supreme Court were reversed, providing a potent line of attack raised by opponents Tuesday after President Obama announced he will nominate the 54-year-old Hispanic woman to the high court.

"Her high reversal rate alone should be enough for us to pause and take a good look at her record. Frankly, it is the Senates duty to do so," said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America.

But opponents have an uphill battle.

Judge Sotomayor already has been confirmed for the federal bench twice: unanimously in 1992, when President George H.W. Bush nominated her to a district court, and by a vote of 67-29 in 1998, after President Clinton nominated her to the appeals court. Seven Republicans who voted for her in 1997 are still in the Senate, and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said "they're certainly well positioned to support her again."

Mr. Gibbs dismissed questions about Judge Sotomayor's reversal rate, saying she wrote 380 majority opinions during her 11 years on the appeals court. Of those 380 opinions, the Supreme Court heard five of the cases and overturned her on three.


I think Gibbs has a fair point in arguing that her real reversal rate is less than one percent of all her cases. When the Supreme Court decides to hear a case the chances are that in 60 percent of all cases they probably reverse, otherwise they would not bother to take the case.

The more fruitful ground to object to her is her racist and sexist attitude toward white males. She has openly expressed it and her ruling in a recent case now on appeal to the Supreme Court suggest at best an indifference to civil rights for white males.

George Will discusses the case and the attitude here.

On other occasions she has also confessed her desire to make policy from the court rather than decide on the law and the facts.


  1. I've linked to your post from Foundations of Government Judical System5 Cases is not enough to base a judgement on. However many judges never have a case reversed by the Supreme court.

    Where information exist is in her statements Such as this combined with statements on Courts setting policy.

  2. Justice should be blind, not biased. We are a nation of laws- laws not made in the appellate court.


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