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For Sotomayor, a Summer Retreat

Sonia Sotomayor (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Where in the world is Sonia Sotomayor?

After her hearing last month, the Supreme Court nominee virtually disappeared from public view. That's standard for nominees waiting for confirmation, said Above the Law blogger David Lat. "Judge Sotomayor would have nothing to gain from appearing in public," he told us. "Confirmation is hers to lose. ... At this point, her strategy has to be 'do no harm.'"

After sailing through her Senate hearings, the nominee went back to New York on July 17 and stayed there -- except for one quick trip to D.C. for more courtesy calls on the Hill. She's been going to her courthouse office, but isn't allowed to sit on cases while the Senate vote is pending. So she's spending time with family and friends, taking staff to lunch, clerks to dinner.

TMZ caught her walking in TriBeCa last week with a security detail and gave her the paparazzi treatment: "What do you think of Rosie Perez playing you in a movie?" shouted the reporter. The judge (black blazer and top, white pants, sneakers, no crutches) threw back her head and laughed, but said nothing.

Smart move. Although Sotomayor's confirmation vote is expected this week, she's not allowed even to hint that it's a foregone conclusion. "She's done with meeting the senators, and almost anything else she did would inadvertently seem presumptuous," said Tom Goldstein, author of the SCOTUS blog.

That includes preparing to move to Washington. Georgetown real estate agent Terri Robinson said she couldn't imagine that Sotomayor has started looking for a home yet. "It would be suicidal. ... You have thousands of agents and thousands of reporters and they're bound to cross paths." (Maybe that's why Al Franken's wife went on Craigslist before he was sworn in as senator to find a two-bedroom crash pad for him in D.C.?)

After the vote, Sotomayor is free to go as public as she likes. Robinson thinks she should buy right away -- "She's going to be here for life, it would be wise investment for her to purchase."

By The Reliable Source  |  August 4, 2009; 1:04 AM ET
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