Emily Green has started to dig in on Tino Cuellar's work with today's cover story Cuellar Endorses Realpolitik view of Judging in Academic Writing: Cuellar Appears to Champion Pragmatic Approach for Courts. According to his writings, Cuellar "believes judges play an active role in shaping the law." In his 2001 doctoral thesis he wrote: "As far as the law is concerned, political response are actually fair game for interpreters to consider when crafting their decisions." In other words, he's a follower of legal realism (e.g., Justice Holmes' "The life of the law...") rather than legal formalism (e.g., Chief Justice Roberts calling balls and strikes). Both Cuellar and Justice Liu served on the board of American Constitution Society the progressive counterpart to the Federalist Society.
Attuned to the relationship between the courts and politicians."
"Unlikely to go off on futile crusades."