Wednesday, July 08, 2009

What are your thoughts on the Sotomayor confirmation hearings?

(...did you notice that today is 07...08...09?)

Sotomayor critics step up rhetoric before hearing

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS The Associated Press Wednesday, July 8, 2009; 12:34 AM
WASHINGTON -- Conservatives stepped up their criticism of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday, but it was unclear how far Senate Republicans were willing to go to create bumps in what appears to be a smooth road to confirmation for President Barack Obama's first high-court choice.

Even as the Senate's top Republican suggested that Sotomayor let racial bias cloud her rulings, he and other GOP senators refused to say whether they would accede to conservative activists' demands to try to delay a final vote to confirm her until September. At the same time, the National Rifle Association raised what it called "very serious concerns" about Sotomayor based on her stance on weapons rights, yet it stopped short of opposing her, citing its "respect for the confirmation process."

The fresh critiques of Sotomayor came as the American Bar Association, a national lawyers' group, rated her "well-qualified" to be a justice after its members conducted scores of confidential interviews with her colleagues and pored through her record and writings to assess her integrity, qualifications and temperament.

Democrats and civil rights leaders rushed to defend Sotomayor against charges that she's an activist who would allow racial bias to interfere with her decisions.

The White House gave senators a lengthy briefing book on Sotomayor that highlights key rulings in areas including criminal law, freedom of speech and religion, women's issues, gun and property rights, and immigration.

The 129-page document describes the judge in glowing terms, repeating often that she shows judicial restraint and is a moderate. It says she has a "record of judicial excellence and, for each case that comes before her, has narrowly applied the law to the facts of the case."

The Senate Judiciary Committee is to open hearings Monday on Sotomayor's nomination to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. If confirmed, she would be the first Hispanic to serve there.
(this article continues at the link above)