Many of Sotomayor's critics questioned her intellect -- despite her tremendous record of accomplishment. Others contended that she lacked judicial temperament. Many Dissenting Justice articles responded to the criticism of Sotmayor (see comprehensive list of articles).
The attacks on Sotomayor had clear racial and gender dimensions. Prior to her confirmation, Sotomayor's powerful presence on the bench was viewed as a negative trait; in male judges, however, this is invariably seen as a positive trait. Despite Sotomayor's record of achievement, detractors questioned her intellect, while white judicial nominees rarely face such scrutiny.
Several critics, including Jeffrey Rosen, questioned whether Sotomayor could match conservative justices (see Dissenting Justice scathing critique of Rosen). According to recent Supreme Court commentary, however, Sotomayor has quickly disproved Rosen's fears regarding her value to the Court's liberal wing.
Today, some commentators rightfully view Sotomayor as a smart justice who engages in very sharp and passionate questioning from the bench. These recent articles provide a far more accurate account of Sotomayor than the picture that emerged during the confirmation process. They also demonstrate how race and class biases, rather than legitimate concerns, shaped much of the criticism surrounding Sotomayor during the confirmation process.