Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rosen's Reviewers Suddenly Get Names!

Jeffrey Rosen has published a glowing review of Judge Diane Wood, a person rumored to be on the "short list" of candidates for a position on the Supreme Court. Recently, Rosen wrote an extremely negative review of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, another potential Court nominee, in which he utilized negative comments by anonymous individuals whom he claims voluntarily contacted him to offer their bad reviews. The negative comments, however, came exclusively from clerks of other judges and prosecutors. Rosen's review triggered a wave of heavy criticism on the Internet.

By contrast, Rosen's review of Wood is laced exclusively with positive comments made by colleagues of Wood at the University of Chicago Law School where she was a Professor prior to becoming a federal judge and where she held the position of Associate Dean. Wood remains a "Senior Lecturer" at the law school. Although Rosen does not state the nature of his contact with the reviewers he quotes regarding Wood, the comments seem like the product of normal investigative reporting, rather than petty gossip (as his analysis of Sotomayor sounds). It is unclear why Rosen failed to solicit and publish positive commentary surrounding Sotomayor, including comments from law professors and other individuals with whom she has closely worked.

Of Interest: The SCOTUS blog has published a series of essays that analyzes the 150 opinions Sotomayor has written in civil cases as a federal appeals court judge. The blog explicitly comments on the lack of attention that other reviewers have given her body of judicial work.

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