With her confirmation as America’s first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, Sonia Sotomayor will soon take on one of the most demanding jobs in the land, writes Adam Liptak of the New York Times. Just over a month from now, Sotomayor will hear her first case, one that may transform how elections are financed, at a special summer session of the court. A few weeks later, she will join her eight new colleagues to decide which of the hundreds of appeals that have piled up over the summer the court should hear.
“The volume and difficulty of the work, and the task of fitting into a storied institution populated by strong and idiosyncratic personalities, has unnerved even judges with distinguished records on lower courts, fancy credentials and ample self-confidence,” Liptak writes. “In addition to the blockbuster election-law case, the new term is frontloaded with important First Amendment, business, criminal and patent cases. Justice Sotomayor's early votes and opinions, along with alliances she forges, will provide answers to at least some of the questions she avoided in confirmation hearings.”