Today Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. She is Hispanic and female and grew up in Bronx housing projects. Unsurprisingly, much of the news focus has been on these three facts, not on her record or intellect, though the NY Times at least includes her intellect in its headline. But while Republicans have and will try to oppose her nomination based partially on their belief that since she is Hispanic and female and grew up poor she will always favor those defendants in her decisions (and rich white male court justices will favor...?). Perhaps it's better instead to base these assumptions on her substantial record on the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The SCOTUSblog has overviews of these decisions (overview, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, links via Feministing), and it seems from my brief reading to be clear that she considers the case at hand and could be called a centrist because of this.