This seems somewhat significant and Sotomayor heads to the Hill again today. Brooks takes a closer look at Sotomayor's rulings but makes his most interesting point near the end when he compares how Sotomayor and President Obama approach race.
It's interesting to compare Sotomayor's thinking with Barack Obama's. On the grand matters of race in America, they are quite different. Sotomayor has given a series of speeches arguing that it is not possible or even desirable to transcend our racial or gender sympathies and prejudices. During the presidential campaign, Obama gave a speech in Philadelphia arguing for precisely that, calling on America to move beyond the old categories and arguments.
Sotomayor sometimes draws a straight line between ethnicity, gender and behavior. Obama emphasizes our multiple identities and the complex blend of influences on an individual life.
Yet in practice, they do have a lot in common. In practice, Sotomayor is a liberal incrementalist. Her careful opinions embody the sort of judicial minimalism that Obama and his aide Cass Sunstein admire most.