Liberals are thrilled that Obama will nominate a woman and a Hispanic, which seem like really trivial reasons to anyone who believes people should be judged "not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
Opposition will likely center around a recent piece in the New Republic by Jeffrey Rosen questioning Sotomayor's legal temperment:
The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was "not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench," as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. "She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren't penetrating and don't get to the heart of the issue."Conservatives will point to a video where Sotomayor says that appeals courts are where policy is made as proof that she's an activist judge:
To be fair, she doesn't seem to say that policy should be made at the appeals court; only that it does.
I'd be more concerned about her tendency towards judicial errors. Three times, she has been reversed by the Supreme Court, not for some disagreement over proper interpretation of the Constitution, but for legal slopiness. She has repeatedly failed to correctly apply the law. That's not a good trait on a Court that deals with complicated technical issues of the law more often than with the controversial big-ticket items like the death penalty, abortion, and gun control.
Barring any unpaid taxes or similar scandals that seem to attract Obama nominees, Sototmayor will be confirmed. I hope for a vigorous and healthy Senate debate. Given the makeup of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I'm not holding my breath.