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Key Excerpt: Kohl and Sotomayor on Ricci Case

CQ Transcriptions

KOHL: Senator Sessions has spent a great deal of time on the New Haven case, and so I would like to see if we can't put it into some perspective. Isn't it true that Ricci was a very close case? Isn't it true that 11 of the 22 judges the reviewed the case did agree with you and that it was only reversed by the Supreme Court by a one-vote 5-4 margin?

So, do you agree, Judge, that it was a close case and that reasonable minds could have seen it in one way or another and not be seen as prejudiced or unable or -- unable to make a clear decision?

SOTOMAYOR: To the extent that reasonable minds can differ on any case, that's true, as to what the legal conclusion should be in a case. But the panel, at least as the case was presented to itself, was relying on the reasonable views that Second Circuit precedent had established.

And so, to the extent that one as a judge adheres to precedence, because it is that which guides and gives stability to the law, then those reasonable minds who decided the precedent and the judges who apply it are coming to the legal conclusion they think the facts and law require.

Read the entire exchange between Sen. Kohl and Judge Sotomayor. Read more on past court rulings and the New Haven firefighters case.

By washingtonpost.com  |  July 14, 2009; 11:34 AM ET
Categories:  Hearings , Supreme Court , Topics: New Haven Firefighter Case , Topics: Past Court Rulings  
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