What I’ve read so far tells me that Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama‘s nominee to replace David Souter on the Supreme Court, is more of a symbol of political-ethnic I.O.U.-ing than of anyone’s idea of impressive judicial distinction. She seems okay (i.e., generally liberal) as far as it goes but she’s clearly no William O. Douglas.

Sontomayor “has issued no major decisions concerning abortion, the death penalty, gay rights or national security,” N.Y. Times reporter Adam Liptak has written. “In cases involving criminal defendants, employment discrimination and free speech, her rulings are more liberal than not. But they reveal no larger vision, seldom appeal to history and consistently avoid quotable language.

“Judge Sotomayor’s decisions are, instead, almost always technical, incremental and exhaustive, considering all of the relevant precedents and supporting even completely uncontroversial propositions with elaborate footnotes.”

Here are ten significant observations/reportings about her.