Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor lived up to her billing as a forceful questioner Monday as the Court opened its fall term with two oral arguments and an order list disposing of hundreds of cases that piled up on its doorstep over the summer.
Though she and the rest of the Court sat for a special session in a reargued case from last term from last term on Sept. 9, Monday was the first routine oral argument sitting of the new term. Unlike some new justices who start off asking few, if any, questions, Sotomayor was a frequent interrogator, often formulating her queries as a prosecutor or trial lawyer might: declarative statements about an aspect of the case, followed by the question, “Correct?” She addressed lawyers 19 times in the first case and 36 times in the second argument, at one point apologizing for cutting off Justice Stephen Breyer.
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