Is Judge Sonia Sotomayor a judicial activist? Just hours after Sotomayor’s selection to fill the upcoming vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, special interest groups began the hunt for the dreaded activist in her, sifting decisions and speeches for evidence.

Soon she will answer her critics’ drumbeat of accusations of judicial activism in her confirmation hearings — a familiar drumbeat today wherever a judge or a nominee sits on the political spectrum.