Come the fuck on, Liptak. Did we need another one of these? "Judge Sotomayor's sharp-tongued and occasionally combative manner—some lawyers have described her as 'difficult' and 'nasty'—raises questions about her judicial temperament and willingness to listen." She's mean to lawyers! That's bad now?
Yes, she'll ruin the pleasant bonhomie of the court, with her fiery tongue and her spicy, uh, questions. Keep in mind that Roberts and Scalia are currently running oral arguments as, in the charitable and complimentary description of USA Today, an Abbot and Costello routine. Conservatives literally get hard-ons when they read transcripts of Roberts and Scalia mocking some jerk-off non-profit lawyer.
Wondering aloud about how many meetings between White House officials and religious groups would violate the Constitution, Roberts and Scalia launched into a back-and-forth dialogue that at one point resembled Abbott and Costello's Who's on First? routine:
Roberts: "Five meetings isn't enough. How many?"
Scalia: "What about 10?"
Scalia: "I was about to ask 20."
Spectators in the white marble courtroom laughed.
Here is Antonin "Nino" Scalia (pictured, in a typical pose of serious judicial restraint, at left) questioning the lawyer of a Mexican gentleman:
Justice Scalia says that "the doctrine of standing is more than an exercise in the conceivable. … Nobody thinks your client is really, you know, abstaining from tequila down in Mexico because he is on supervised release in the United States."
Hah! Mexicans are drunk! Scalia is "feisty" and "lively"!
So maybe, New York Times judiciary experts, your story here should not be the millionth "she's a total bitch, lawyers say" piece. Maybe it would've actually been a better bit of analysis if you'd examined why, exactly, President Obama might want someone with a "lively" style of questioning during oral arguments on a court dominated by the originalist Beavis and Butthead.
Or we could all drop our fucking monocles because she interrupted a government lawyer once. She was probably drunk on mezcal too!