One of the things that has struck me about the hearings so far is the Democratic effort to prove that Sotomayor is, if not truly conservative, moderate-to-right. That might be OK as a tactic if they were trying to cover up the fact that she is liberal. Unfortunately, her history suggests that this positioning is correct. She is not, on the evidence, likely to be a strong advocate for the liberal side of the court.
In short, Obama (like Clinton), has gone for a "moderate" judge in the hope of, thereby, avoiding Conservative attacks. Republican Presidents, in contrast, have sought out the most Conservative judges they could find in the hope that they could pass them off as moderate.
This tendency on the part of liberal Democrats to cede ground to the Conservatives even before the battle is engaged has existed now for at least 2o years. What will it take to get us back to 1960s-style liberal courage on the part of Democrats?