Is Sotomayor Slow?

When President Bush nominated Priscilla Owen to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, one of the arguments made against her was that she took to long to issue opinions.  Could the same argument be made against Judge Sotomayor?  In at least one case, Connecticut v. American Electric Power, Judge Sotomayor is on a Second Circuit panel that has taken an unconscionably long time to issue an opinion.  As Jonathan Zasloff notes, it’s been almost three years since the Court heard oral argument in the case, and nothing’s happened.  In the case, several states are suing several large utilities alleging that their emission of greenhouse gases contribute to the “public nuisance” of global warming.  Because of the subject matter, and recent developments in climate change policy, the court could require supplemental briefing or rehearing, but they have yet to do so.  This may be an isolated case, but it is disturbing nonetheless.

Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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