According to Jeffery Rosen of the New Republic, when doing background research on Sotomayor when she was in the running for current Supreme Court
position, "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.” *
Rosen continued, "Former law clerks for other judges on the Second Circuit or former federal prosecutors in New York, mostly Democrats...wanted President Obama to appoint a judicial star of the highest intellectual caliber who had the potential to change the direction of the court...but nearly none of them raved about her (Sotomayor). They expressed questions about her temperament, her judicial craftsmanship, and most of all, her ability to provide an intellectual counterweight to the conservative justices, as well as a clear liberal alternative."
In light of her antics with Justice Scalia, Sotomayor apparently is attempting to grandstand and prove those critics wrong.
On the other hand, brow-beating does not equate intelligence. Sotomayor may strut around the courtroom, displaying a victory lap of sorts, and commanding attention from her critics, but careless driving usually results in disaster.
You might recall one of her early 'wink-wink' moments which had many wondering if her personal opinion of judges legislating from the bench should have nullified consideration for this nation's highest court.
One former colleague put it this way, "She is not intimidated or overwhelmed by the eminence or power or prestige of any party, or indeed of the media."
That statement may be factual, however serving on the highest court of this nation is not as if Sotomayor is frontrunner in a beauty pageant. Push the people too far with your braggadocios displays, and your service on the beach will be short-lived!
Sotomayor would not be breaking new ground if she voluntarily and suddenly announced an early retirement! And if you think her 'pay grade' is too lofty for scrutiny....there's this guy named "Ben" in Rome, who wears spiffier robes than you, Sonia!