Sotomayor on Writing Shorter Opinions and Asking Fewer Questions During Oral Argument

October 23rd, 2013

During remarks at Arcadia University, Justice Sotomayor offered some assessments about her progress as a Justice:

“Nobody is born a justice,” she said, recalling how as a teenager she would say her goal was to graduate college. Later, the goal was to finish law school. Now, she said, her goal is to become a better justice.

“I am learning to write shorter opinions, ask less questions, and think more globally about the decisions I make,” she said

Justice Sotomayor’s aggressive questioning, and habit of interrupting advocates and other Justices, has not gone unnoticed. In the Times, Adam Liptak wrote: “Where Justice David H. Souter would deploy a single finely constructed query, Justice Sotomayor is apt to barrage advocates with a series of insistent questions.”

Joan Biskupic made a similar observation: “Sotomayor asks more questions than any new justice in recent years and more than many veterans.”