Sonia Sotomayor is setting the record straight on many issues during the second day of her Senate hearings. She is smart, strong and has so far has answered the questions clearly and directly emphasizing her commitment to following the law.
The Republicans, especially Sen. Jeff Sessions, a Republican from Alabama, tried to shake her but she is solid. Come on. She's a Puerto Rican woman from New York and has tried murder cases and even settled the baseball strike. The Republicans haven't made her crack yet and I don't think that they will.
Here's a highlight of what she has said so far this morning.
How did she respond to the criticism of the "wise Latina woman" quote?
"I want to state upfront, unequivocally and without doubt, I do not believe that any racial, ethnic or gender group has an advantage in sound judging. I do believe that every person has an equal opportunity to be a good and wise judge, regardless of their background or life experiences," Sotomayor said.
What did she say about the Connecticut the firefighter case?
"This was not a quota case, this was not an affirmative action case, this was a challenge to a test that everyone agreed had a very wide difference between the pass rate of a variety of different groups," Sotomayor said.
Sotomayor made it clear that this case was not about affirmative action
or quotas but about whether the exam had a disparate impact on one
group. She explained that she was one of three judges and the
followed the precedent of the court. She also commented that the
Supreme Court ruling 5-4 in favor of the firefighters set a different
precedent and that would create a new standard and impact her ruling if
it were made today.
Sen. Herb Kohl, a Democrat from Wisconsin, also noted that of the 22
different judges who have reviewed this case at the various levels, 11
have agreed with Sotomayor.
How did she answer when asked repeatedly by Sen. Sessions, the ranking
Republican, on whether her personal views will influence her judging?
"We're not robots," she told Sessions. "...You have to recognize these feelings and put them aside."
Sessions continued to pressure her about her possible biases and point
that irritates me to no end as he would never ask these questions of a
But Sotomayor stood her ground. "I do not permit my sympathies,
personal views or prejudices to influence the outcomes of cases," she
What did she say about Affirmative Action?
She didn't give her opinion but clearly explained how the Supreme Court
has ruled in favor of it in some instances and against it in others.
So far, she's doing great.