Sotomayor Faces Confirmation Hearing Today

07.13.09 | FL News Team

Today's the big day for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor [[ so-toh-my-YORE ]] as she answers questions in her Senate confirmation hearing. The federal appeals court judge is President Obama's choice to replace retired Justice David Souter. If confirmed, the 55-year old New York native will become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.

 

In nominating Sotomayor, President Obama said she will bring impartiality to the high court, with no ideological agenda. Thanking Obama, Sotomayor cited the importance of upholding the rule of law and said she's always aware of the "real world consequences" of her decisions on the federal bench. Barring unforseen revelations, Sotomayor is expected to be easily confirmed in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Obama has said he'd like to see Sotomayor seated by the time the Supreme Court reconvenes in the fall.

 

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee will attempt to paint Sotomayor as a liberal, judicial activist. Republicans will press Sotomayor on a reverse discrimination case that was recently overturned. Sotomayor was part of a federal appellate panel that ruled against white firefighters in Hartford, Connecticut. In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the ruling. Sotomayor will also be peppered with questions about something she said eight years ago when she suggested that her experiences as a Latina help shape her rulings. Sotomayor expressed the hope that a "wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." The White House called it a poor choice of words but condemned accusations from conservative critics who accused Sotomayor of practicing reverse racism.