Would They Call A Tough Male Judge “Temperamental”?
They’ve tried almost everything else; now they’re attacking Sonia Sotomayor on her “temperament.” The New York Times writes of her “blunt and testy side” as displayed during questioning in Arar v. Ashcroft, a case of a man who said the Bush administration sent him to Syria to be tortured.
“So the minute the executive raises the specter of foreign policy, national security,” Judge Sotomayor asked the lawyer, Jonathan F. Cohn, “it is the government’s position that that is a license to torture anyone?”
Mr. Cohn managed to get out two and a half words: “No, your hon – .”
Judge Sotomayor cut him off, then hit him with two more questions and a flat declaration of what she said was his position. The lawyer managed to say she was wrong, but could not clarify the point until the chief judge stepped in.
“Why don’t we just get the position?” he asked.
So she is either strident, nasty, and intemperate, if you’re a conservative opposing her, or sharp, focused, and a well-prepared interlocutor, if you’re supporting her. Expect the word “temperamental” to be tossed around. But would they ever use that word about a male judge? Or is it that some just can’t handle being sharply questioned by a woman? Even though they’ll use the questioning of Cohn to try to make the case against Sotomayor, Cohn himself had no problem with it.
Mr. Cohn, the government lawyer in the Arar case, said he was not taken aback by Judge Sotomayor’s volley of inquiries. “I thought her questions and demeanor were reasonable and fine,” he said.Click here for reuse options!
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