You can go read his whack job - don't want to quote too much here, but the entire piece is based on Rosen's anonymous quotes from his sources including statements like this one:
The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was "not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench," as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. "She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren't penetrating and don't get to the heart of the issue."
Yeah. Read: She is an uppity spic. A loud-mouthed Boricua(Puerto Rican). A Latina
who is dumb. A bully cause she doesn't take no shit.
Comments to TNR included responses like these:
Mr. Rosen, I appreciate that you're trying to do journalism here. But something has gone badly wrong. I am not a Sotomayor clerk, but I've seen her in action on the bench and my closest friends have clerked for many judges on her circuit (including her). We've all been talking about her since the Souter announcement. In my opinion, the picture you have painted in this article is more than just off the mark -- it's WAY off the mark. Sotomayor is notable among judges on her circuit mainly for being unusually brilliant. She's intimidating at oral arguments not because she's a "bully" (an accusation I find bizarre) but because she prepares so meticulously that quite often she knows the law and the facts better than the oral advocates! You describe her questions as not getting to the heart of the matter. If you had asked me what I thought after watching her at oral argument, I would have said she was notable for the opposite reason: her questions really cut straight to the heart of the matter. She is very impressive. I am somewhat concerned, after reading this profile, about whether some of the people with whom you spoke may be trying to undercut Sotomayor deliberately. If these were their honest impressions, then I'd respectfully query whether those impressions might have been colored a bit by her race or gender. It's hard for me to come up with another good explanation for why you would have heard things that are so completely different from what everyone I know who worked around her says, and for that matter, with what I saw with my own eyes. I'm somewhat taken aback at the portrait you've painted.
This is total BS. Sotomayor is one of the sharpest & most impressive judges you will ever encounter -- left, right, or center. Ask anyone who appears in front of CA2. I say that as somebody who's not particularly invested in her being the nominee. Whatever. But I know a hack job when I see one, and this column is one. I don't know if Rosen is the hack, or if he's had some conversations with hacks. But this column just does not ring true. It's especially crazy to state the 'word on the street' that you quote here. On my street, the word is that, yeah, Sotomayor is intimidating -- intimidatingly brilliant.
Dissenting Justice has published a response:
Rosen Fails to Analyze Sotomayor's Rulings
Given Rosen's background in law, it might surprise many readers of his essay that Professor Rosen does not offer his own independent analysis of Sotomayor's rulings to support his condemnation of her candidacy. Instead, Rosen admits his own ignorance regarding Sotomayor's jurisprudence and the limits of the group of persons he interviewed:
I haven't read enough of Sotomayor's opinions to have a confident sense of them, nor have I talked to enough of Sotomayor's detractors and supporters, to get a fully balanced picture of her strengths. It's possible that the former clerks and former prosecutors I talked to have an incomplete picture of her abilities.
Despite his admitted lack of knowledge regarding Sotomayor's judicial record, Rosen urges President Obama to "satisfy himself that he has a complete picture before taking a gamble." Rosen has described Sotomayor as a "gamble" even though he admits that he has incomplete knowledge of her record as a judge. Reaching a conclusion about a person without knowledge or with incomplete knowledge of the individual's qualifications seems like a standard example of prejudice, but readers can draw their own conclusions about Rosen's motivation.
Wonkette has a piece mocking the TNR piece:
Is Frontrunner Mexican Lady Judge A Dumb? Anonymous Sources Think So!
Barack Obama needs two very arbitrary things from his Supreme Court pick: that the pick be a woman, and Mexican. Maybe even a liberal, although he does not support Litmus Tests. A quick scan of the system shows that a gal named Sonia Sotomayor, judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, fills these requirements, so she is automatically the frontrunner. Sotomayor was a Poor for most of her life, born into a Puerto Rican family in the Bronx. Later, however, she went to such "lesser Ivies" as Princeton and Yale Law School and had a ton of fancy jobs writing nonsense. Hooray! BUT NO, writes important Washington legal scholar Jeffrey Rosen of important government pamphlet The New Republic in an important article! She’s just another dumb Puerto Rican loudmouth, say his anonymous sources who may or may not have ever heard of her. Rosen wants us to know right off the bat that Sotomayor is, above all else, a loser with no friends.
Her former clerks report that because Sotomayor is divorced and has no children, her clerks become like her extended family–working late with her, visiting her apartment once a month for card games (where she remembers their favorite drinks), and taking a field trip together to the premier of a Harry Potter movie.
There was also a diary here on DKOs suggesting she shouldn't be considered because she has type one diabetes:
Souter's replacement: Why it Shouldn't be Sotomayor
So she is an assertive, hard-working Puerto Rican from the projects, who rose up from poverty to attend Princeton, where she graduated summa cum laude, and then went onto Yale, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Yeah. A real dumb broad.
Too often criticisms of women are not based on either their qualifications, or expertise, but on their "temperament". Women of color get hit doubly, combining sexism and racism.
I have no problem with anyone raising questions about prospective appointees.
But let them be based on fact and not bias.
Shame on TNR.
Thanks to TennesseeGurl for providing a link to Glenn Greenwald's response to Rosen at Salon:
Jeffrey Rosen, TNR and the anonymous smears against Sonia Sotomayor
I don't really have an opinion about whether Sotomayor would be a good pick for Obama -- I haven't done anywhere near the work necessary to formulate a meaningful judgment about that -- but, in my prior life as a litigator, I had some personal experiences with her. I had at least two, possibly three, cases in which she was the judge -- including a Second Circuit appeal for which she wrote the opinion (reversing the District Court) on behalf of a unanimous panel. At Oral Argument in that case, she was, by far, the most active questioner.
Based on those experiences, I'm genuinely amazed at how -- overnight -- she's been transformed in conventional wisdom, largely as a result of Rosen's piece, into a stupid, shrill, out-of-her-depth Puerto Rican woman who is being considered for the Supreme Court solely due to anti-merit, affirmative action reasons. The New Republic thus fulfills its principal function in life: to allow the Right to spout any sort of invective and bile and justify it by reciting the "even-the-liberal-New-Republic-agrees" defense.
Go read it.