The questioning continued today for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Senator Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said before the hearing that unless something strange happens, Sotomayor will defintely have the votes to be confirmed.
“It might not happen if there were an extraordinary circumstance, but I don’t see one developing here,” said Graham. “I’m just telling people in South Carolina and all over the lay of the land. She’s going to get a lot of votes, well over fifty.”
As he wrapped up his segment of questioning today, Graham focused on Sotomayor’s temperment. “When you look at the evaluation of the judges on the Second Circuit, you stand out like a sore thumb, in terms of your temperment. What is your answer to these criticisms?”
“I do ask tough questions in oral argument,” Sotomayor responded.
Graham asked her if she were the only person who asked tough questions, to which she responded, “No, not at all.”
On her first day of questioning, Sotomayor stopped shy of saying that a woman’s right to abortion was already set in law. She stated that she would not have preconceived notions on gun rights. In doing so she explained a ruling recently overturned in the case of white firefighters in Connecticut.
Sotomayor firmly denied racial bias today and said an often-criticized remark about her Hispanic heritage affecting judicial decisions was just a rhetorical device. She said her attempted play on words fell flat in a speech in 2001. She spoke to Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who is the Judiciary Committee’s senior Republican, referring to remarks in which she suggested that a “wise Latina woman” would usually reach a better conclusion than a white male.
But Sessions, the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee, sounded unconvinced. He said that he was troubled that Sotomayor would repeatedly over a decade make statements like that.