The five years Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor spent in the Manhattan district attorney’s office, friends and colleagues tell the Washington Post, shaped her as a criminal prosecutor and helped form her worldview as a judge. The experience, combined with her later years as a trial judge, would make her unique among the justices and would bring a firsthand exposure to the court’s consideration of criminal procedure and sentencing.
Her record shows her as a middle-of-the-road jurist who, like most judges, rules most often in favor of the prosecution. “She toes the line in terms of following what the law is, and in that respect [her opinions] come out as more pro-government,” said Ellen Podgor, a law professor at Stetson University in Florida who has reviewed about 100 of Sotomayor’s appellate rulings in white-collar cases. Said legal aid lawyer friend Dawn Cardi: “She saw the impact that crime had on our society  she thought a lot about how we address it.  You see shades of gray. I think she began to see these were complicated cases, they are not as simple as crime and punishment.”