“It would be folly to read too much into these three competing metaphors. They do not arise from any sort of critical analysis. The Umpire metaphor had its origin in a comment by Justice Roberts during his confirmation hearings. The raw materials from which Senate Republicans constructed the Wise Latina metaphor came from the “stump speech” that Judge Sotomayor regularly delivered to various law schools. The Cabinetmaker metaphor was chosen and emphasized by Judge Sotomayor in order to make her less threatening to moderate Republicans and therefore more likely to sail smoothly towards confirmation.
None of these metaphors were put forward as a closely argued, carefully considered explication of a particular judicial philosophy. Instead, they were used as simplistic tools to convey a particular message about what judges do to the general public.”