What I like most about Sonia Sotomayor's style so far is what appears to be a spirited nature to match Justice Antonin Scalia's aggressiveness. The court needs a fresh voice and a fierce debater to challenge Scalia's ultra-conservative passion behind the scenes, where decisions are hammered out.
For the sake of balance in oral arguments, Sotomayor's reputation for energetic questioning would provide a counterpoint to Scalia's outgoing performances. Most justices act like they'd rather be at a funeral.
Scalia has his detractors on the bench, such as Justice John Paul Stevens. Their attacks on each other in written rulings and dissents reveal signs of deep conflict. But like so many of his colleagues who often disagree with Scalia, the aging Stevens is essentially a laid-back personality type.
It's time for a justice who gets in Scalia's face. I just wish we could see it when it happens.
Craig blogs daily at craigcrawford.com on CQ Politics.