"Sotomayor Emerges as Force in Criminal Cases"National Law Journal
Tim O’Toole discusses Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, saying "She is emerging as a force on the Court. She has important views and strong views, and they tend to be as liberal as the justice she replaced, but there are some places where she is to the right of Justice [David] Souter." It would be difficult, he added, to walk away from the two decisions that she issued on February 28 and March 2, Michigan v. Bryant and Pepper v. U.S., "and not realize she is becoming a voice of importance and influence."
Regarding the Michigan case, "It was an important decision," noted O'Toole, adding, "Before Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan were on the Court, there was a coalition in confrontation clause cases that included Justices Souter and John Paul Stevens. We don't know where Justice Kagan is, but we know where Justice Sotomayor is, and it's not always with that coalition." O'Toole suggested that Sotomayor brings a "hands-on" approach to the criminal cases in which her outcomes are not always predictable. In the confrontation clause decision on Feb. 28, he noted, she was to the right of her predecessor, Justice Souter.