Last night, Fox’s Sean Hannity continued his attack against Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor using cherry-picked quotes about her from a profile of Sotomayor in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, which relies on anonymous quotes from lawyers who have tried cases in her court room. Hannity used the quotes to characterize Sotomayor as “agressive,” “out-of-control,” and, “nasty”:
HANNITY: [W]hat do the lawyers who have appeared in her courtroom think of her judicial temperament? Well, not much. The Almanac of the Federal Judiciary solicits commentary from practicing attorneys about our federal judges. Now here’s what some lawyers who have argued before Judge Sotomayor had to say about her. Quote, She is a terror on the bench. She is overly aggressive, not very judicial. She behaves in an out-of-control manner. She is nasty to lawyers.
Hannity then turned to Jay Sekulow from Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice and Andrew McCarthy of the National Review to confirm his extremely distorted view of Sotomayor. Watch it:
Had Hannity wanted to present a “fair and balanced” view of Sotomayor’s reputation, he would have noted that lawyers quoted in the edition of the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary from which he drew his statements also had many positive things to say about Sotomayor. Indeed, they said she was “very smart,” “very intelligent,” “an exceptional judge overall,” and that “she has a very good commonsense approach to the law.”
Additionally, as Rob Kar at PrawfsBlawg found, the 2000 edition of the Almanac painted, on balance, a much more positive image of Sotomayor than the more recent edition that Hannity quoted. Indeed, the 2000 edition lacks any description of her being a “terror” or “out-of-control.” Instead, she is described as “not rude in any way, but she’s exacting,” “professional,” and “all business”:
Lawyer’s found Sotomayor to be demanding. “I think she’s fine.” “She can be tough. She’s not rude in any way, but she’s exacting.” “She’s all business.” “I’ve never had any problem with her, but I know some lawyer’s don’t care for her temperament.” “She can be tough as nails, but, in truth, I think some lawyers give her a hard time or are threatened by her. She’s very accomplished and clearly smart, and, in truth, I think they’re intimidated. She has always been decent enough to me.” “She’s professional. She’s not quite as friendly or as approachable as some of the other circuit court judges are. She’s a little more stern.” “She’s very smart and well-prepared, and she expects lawyers to rise to her level. She has very little tolerance for lawyers who can’t match her intellectually.”