"Not that Smart": Sonia Sotomayor and the Construction of Merit

September 29, 2011 • 12:30 PM • Law School 3041
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The appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court in 2009 was criticized as sacrificing merit on the altar of identity politics. According to critics, Sotomayor was simply "not that smart". Using a set of basic measures of judicial merit, Professors Charles, Chen and Gulati compare her performance on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to that of her colleagues on the federal appeals courts. Sotomayor matches up well. She might turn out to be more of a force on the Court than the naysayers predicted. For more information, contact Michelle Huang at