Little Drama Expected at Sotomayor Hearings
By Ben Pershing
The final weekend before the start of today's Senate Judiciary Committee session brought one last spate of biographical pieces on Sonia Sotomayor, highlighting her unusual route from the South Bronx to Princeton and Yale, the federal bench and the cusp of the highest court of the land. As a person and Supreme Court nominee, Sotomayor may well be interesting, but if the coverage today is any indication, her confirmation hearings probably won't be.
Republicans made clear Sunday that they plan to question Sotomayor's ability to be a fair jurist. "I am really flabbergasted by the depth and consistency of her philosophical critique of the ideal of impartial justice," Jeff Sessions said on Face the Nation Sunday. And John Cornyn said "the ethnicity focus, the focus on sex and on race," in Sotomayor's past comments would be problematic for her.
But that's about as strong as the rhetoric got, and The New York Times reports, "senators from both parties seemed to accept that her nomination was unlikely to be derailed given the Democrats' majority." Roll Call predicts "Republicans are unlikely to put the nominee on trial." Even the most routine pre-hearing machinations have seemed duller than usual. President Obama called Sotomayor Sunday to wish her luck. "He complimented the Judge for making courtesy calls to 89 Senators in which she discussed her adherence to the rule of law throughout her 17 years on the federal bench," according to a White House statement. Sounds like quite the exciting phone conversation.
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