In an earlier post on Sotomayor's nomination I wrote that the quantitative data on Justice Samuel Alito's record on the court of appeals showed that he had a "substantial edge" over Sotomayor in terms of judicial distinction. Co-blogger Eric Posner now presents new data showing that Sotomayor's recent record stacks up well against Alito's by various measures. I agree with most of Eric's analysis. As Eric stated, it's not clear that Sotomayor's higher citation count proves that she was actually much more successful than Alito, since Second Circuit decisions likely get more citations than Third Circuit ones. But it can no longer be said that the quantitative data show that Alito had a "significant edge" over Sotomayor.
As I stated in the original post, my reservations about Sotomayor are primarily focused on her judicial philosophy and the substance of her decisions rather than on competence. I agree with Barack Obama's view that it is sometimes justifiable to oppose a technically competent nominee on philosophical grounds. I took the same position during the Bush Administration, and I still hold to it now. Even so, it's important to recognize that new evidence reveals that my original unfavorable comparison of her judicial record to Alito's was probably wrong.