Only the most naive observer would oppose Chief Justice Bird's reconfirmation on the basis of personality, demeanor, or work habits. To the extent that Bird's critics have opposed her for those reasons, Babcock is correct in condemning them.
When I was a law student extern in the California Supreme Court in 1981 it was apparent to me that Bird is a tireless worker whose commitment and dedication to her job and the court were unassailable.
Moreover, a careful reading of Rose Bird's opinions leads ineluctably to the conclusion that she possesses sharp analytic skills and a lucid writing style; her work product puts to rest any question of her intellectual ability, and again, Babcock rightly condemns Bird critics who cite this as a reason for voting against reconfirmation.
However, Babcock knows, or should know, that Bird critics oppose her on far more defensible grounds than those mentioned above. The sole issue in the Bird reconfirmation debate is whether she has carried out her constitutional duty to apply and follow the law. On this critical question Babcock's article lacks analytical rigor.