Livin’ on the edge

The Washington Post’s coverage of Judge Sonia Sotomayor has been partisan and not very honest. For example, the Post analyzed all of the Second Circuit cases in which Judge Sotomayor participated where there was a “split decision,” and reported (per Post-man Jerry Markon) that she falls within the mainstream of court of appeals judges appointed by Democratic presidents.

But, as I noted here, the Post’s study actually showed that Sotomayor is more liberal than the average court of appeals judge appointed by a Democratic presidents, and arguably significantly so. In the study, the distance between the average Republican appointee and the average Democratic appointee was 13 percentage points, and the distance between the average Dem selection and Sotomayor was another 7 points. Thus, if one were to say (conservatively) that Democratic appointees are, on average, a notch to the left of their Republican counterparts, then one would have to say that Judge Sotomayor is a half a notch further yet to the left.

Yesterday, the Post was at it again. Reporters Robert Barnes, Michale Shear, and Perry Bacon, Jr. claimed that studies show that Sotomayor’s decisions “fit comfortably in the mainstream, if on the liberal edge of it.”

But to be on the “edge” of a “mainstream” is, by definition, not to fit comfortably within it.
And the Post’s own study suggests that, Sotomayor at best is on the edge of the liberal side of “the mainstream.” Comparably situated conservative judges are routinely viewed by the MSM as outside the mainstream, if not as outright “wing-nuts.”

One of the advantages of writing a story with two other reporters is that we’ll never know whether it was Barnes, Shear, or Bacon who took the necessary liberties with the lanaguage to formulate this nonsensical apology for Sotomayor’s leftism.

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