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Sotomayor confirmation hearing live coverage

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This page describes live coverage of the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2009. This page has not been updated since 2009.

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External links

  • CLICK HERE for the official Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire for Judge Sotomayor
  • CLICK HERE for attachments and appendices of Judge Sotomayor's questionnaire.
  • CLICK HERE for the official witness list for both the majority and the minority provided by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Hearing summary

July 16, 2009

Welcome to Day 4 of Judgepedia's live coverage of the Sotomayor hearings. There will be a live web-cast without commercial interruption on the Senate Judiciary Committee website. On today's agenda is the completion of the second round of questions by Senators and a second round of questions if senators desire. After the second round questions, both the minority and the majority in the committee will call individuals to testify off the official witness lists.

CLICK HERE for the official Day 4 transcript.

All times listed are Central Time unless otherwise noted.

7:05-PM-CDT-The final round of questioning ended as the Sotomayor confirmation hearings are officially over. Judgepedia thanks you for viewing the Sotomayor Confirmation hearing coverage.

6:47-PM-CDT-As the final round of questions conclude, all of us at Judgepedia thank you for viewing our day 4 coverage of the Sotomayor confirmation hearings.

6:39-PM-CDT-Mr. Halbrook concluded his testimony. Senator Kaufman opened up questioning for the final witness panel.

6:32-PM-CDT-Mr. Rivkin concluded his testimony. Mr. Stephen Halbrook a attorney that written briefs for District of Columbia v. Heller began his testimony. Mr. Halbrook is the last witness for the day.

6:27-PM-CDT-Congressman Serrano concluded his testimony. Mr. David Rivkin an prominent private practice attorney began his testimony.

6:22-PM-CDT-Congressman Jose Serrano of New York began his testimony.

6:21-PM-CDT-Ms. Epps concluded her testimony.

6:14-PM-CDT-Ms. Hynes concluded her testimony. Ms. JoAnne Epps of the National Association of Women Lawyers began her testimony.

6:08-PM-CDT-Ms. Patricia Hynes, President of the New York City Association began her testimony.

6:07-PM-CDT-Senator Kaufman sworn in the panel.

6:05-PM-CDT-Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware re-convened the hearing.

5:58-PM-CDT-Senator Amy Klobuchar has excused the witness panel and order a recess to assemble the next panel. This will be the last witness panel for the day.

5:34-PM-CDT-Professor Rosenkranz concluded his testimony. Senator Amy Klobuchar began questioning for the witnesses on the panel.

5:32-PM-CDT-Professor Rosenkranz claimed that if the Supreme Court of the United States used international could violate the laws of democracy.

5:27-PM-CDT-Professor McGinnis concluded his testimony. Georgetown Law professor Nick Rosenkranz began his testimony.

5:23-PM-CDT-Professor McGinnis expressed concern if Judge Sotomayor would use international law in her rulings for the Supreme Court.

5:20-PM-CDT-Professor Rao concluded her testimony. Northwestern Law professor John McGinnis began his testimony.

5:14-PM-CDT-Mr. Jeffries concluded his testimony. George Mason law professor Neomi Rao began her testimony.

5:12-PM-CDT-Mr. Jeffries criticized Judge Sotomayor for exercising judicial empathy towards criminal defendants.

5:08-PM-CDT-Professor Shaw concluded his testimony. Mr. Tim Jeffries founder of P7 Enterprises began his testimony.

5:01-PM-CDT-Congresswoman Velazquez completed her testimony. Columbia Law School professor Theodore Shaw began his testimony.

4:54-PM-CDT-New York Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez began her testimony.

4:53-PM-CDT-Ms. Ramero concluded her testimony.

4:51-PM-CDT-Ms. Ramero said: "that Judge Sotomayor's racial background would not detract her ability to rule within the law."

4:48-PM-CDT-Ms. Ramona Ramero of the National Hispanic Bar Association began her testimony.

4:47-PM-CDT-Senator Klobuchar sworn in the next witness panel.

4:36-PM-CDT-Senator Klobuchar excused the witness panel and ordered a short recess to assemble the next panel.

4:19-PM-CDT-Mr. Kopel concluded his brief testimony. Senator Klobuchar is now beginning to question the witnesses on the panel.

4:13-PM-CDT-Mr. Kopel concluded his testimony. Professor Ilya Sormin of George Mason Law School, began his testimony.

4:11-PM-CDT-Mr. Kopel mentioned the pending case of National Rifle Association v. Chicago in the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Kopel expressed serious concern if Judge Sotomayor was confirmed to the court and whether the Supreme Court nominee would rule properly in NRA v. Chicago.

4:07-PM-CDT-Ms. Froman completed her testimony and claimed that Judge Sotomayor would support Chicago's gun ban. Mr. David Kopel, of the Independence Institute began his testimony. Mr. Kopel continued on the topic of the Second Amendment.

4:04-PM-CDT-Ms. Froman stated her opposition to Judge Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court. Ms. Froman claimed Judge Sotomayor incorrectly application of the Fourteenth Amendment in Maloney v. Cuomo.

4:02-PM-CDT-Ms. Sandy Froman, the former President of the National Rifle Association began her testimony. Ms. Froman rebutted the testimony of Mr. Chuck Canterbury and Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel on the issue of the Second Amendment.

3:55-PM-CDT-Dr. Yost opposed Judge Sotomayor's nomination over concerns that Judge Sotomayor would support "unrestricted abortion on demand."

3:53-PM-CDT-Professor Stith completed her brief testimony. Dr. Charmaine Yost began her testimony.

3:47-PM-CDT-Mr. Cone completed his testimony. Professor Kate Stith of Yale Law School began her testimony.

3:43-PM-CDT-Mr. Cone praised Judge Sotomayor for her handling in a ruling in a 1995 case that ruled that Major League Baseball owners acted in bad faith during negotiations in the 1994 baseball strike. Judge Sotomayor's ruling ended a long strike that canceled the 1994 World Series.

3:41-PM-CDT-Mr. Canterbury concluded his testimony. Mr. David Cone, a former baseball pitcher began his testimony.

3:40-PM-CDT-Mr. Canterbury also praised Judge Sotomayor's handling of U.S. v. Falso, a child pornography case.

3:39-PM-CDT-Mr. Canterbury in his testimony said to the committee that: "Judge Sotomayor has strong support for the Second Amendment."

3:37-PM-CDT-Mr. Freeh concluded his testimony. Mr. Chuck Canterbury of the Fraternal Order of Police began his testimony.

3:34-PM-CDT-Mr. Freeh, during his testimony, praised Judge Sotomayor's judicial temperament. Mr. Freeh, was a former federal judge for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Freeh mentored Judge Sotomayor at the beginning of her federal judicial career.

3:31-PM-CDT-Mr. Louis Freeh, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation began his testimony.

3:30-PM-CDT-Senator Klobuchar re-convened the meeting and sworn in the next witness panel.

3:20-PM-CDT-The Chairman for the second witness panel, Senator Ben Cardin excused the witness panel. Senator Cardin ordered a five minute recess to assemble the next witness panel. The majority panel will have FBI Director Louis Freeh, President of the National Order of Police Chuck Canterburry, former pro baseball pitcher David Cone and Yale Law professor Katie Stith testifying. The minority witness panel will be represented by Dr. Charmine Yoest from Americans United for Life, former NRA President Sandy Froman, and David Kopel of the Independence Institute.

2:59-PM-CDT-Senators questioned Frank Ricci and Ben Vargas of the New Haven Fire Department about how the Ricci v. DeStefano ruling impacted their lives.

2:29-PM-CDT-All the members continued their questioning to all of the first panel witnesses. The entire committee asked questions to all the witnesses in no particular order.

2:12-PM-CDT-Ms. Chavez completed her testimony as the last witness on the first panel. The Senate Judiciary Committee members began their questioning to all the witnesses that are on the panel.

2:06-PM-CDT-Ms. Chavez in her testimony urged the Senate Judiciary Committee not support Judge Sotomayor's confirmation. Ms. Chavez praised her life story, but expressed reservation on her ability to decide cases fairly.

2:04-PM-CDT-The topic of racial quotas has been a concern during the Ricci v. DeStefano case. Mr. Kirsanow concluded his testimony. Ms. Linda Chavez, the former US Secretary of Labor began her testimony.

2:01-PM-CDT-Mr. Kirsanow, in his testimony described what he perceived was a danger of racial quotas being used in promotion decisions. Mr. Kirsanow also described a study that supported his testimony.

1:59-PM-CDT-Lieutenant Vargas has completed his testimony. Mr. Peter Kirsanow, a commissioner of the US Commission on Civil Rights started his testimony.

1:55-PM-CDT-Lieutenant Ben Vargas started his testimony. Lieutenant Vargas expressed shock when his promotion was disallowed to the New Haven Fire Department. The disallowed promotions were a key issue of Ricci v. DeStefano. The Supreme Court ruled in June of 2009 to disallow Judge Sotomayor's ruling.

1:51-PM-CDT-Mr. Ricci described the amount that he has taken a lot of time away from his family to pursue his promotion. Mr. Ricci also stated in his testimony that the actions of the New Haven Fire Department affected all the candidates that pursued a promotion.

1:47-PM-CDT-Mr. Henderson ended his testimony. Mr. Frank Ricci of the New Haven Fire Department began his testimony.

1:42-PM-CDT-Mr. Morgenthau completed his testimony. Mr. Wade Henderson of the Leadership Council on Civil Rights began his testimony to the committee.

1:39-PM-CDT-Mr. Morgenthau described Judge Sotomayor's experience during her career as a prosecutor in his testimony.

1:33-PM-CDT-New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau began his testimony. Mr. Morgenthau was District Attorney when Judge Sotomayor began her career as a prosecutor in New York City.

1:29-PM-CDT-Senator Whitehouse re-issued the oath to the entire panel. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was delayed in his arrival to Washington, DC. Mayor Bloomberg began his testimony after the oath was issued.

1:27-PM-CDT-Senator Sessions concluded his questioning to Mr. McDaniel.

1:23-PM-CDT-Ranking member Jeff Sessions questioned Attorney General McDaniel on the Ricci case. Attorney General McDaniel filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of Judge Sotomayor's ruling in Ricci v. DeStefano.

1:20-PM-CDT-Attorney General McDaniel was questioned by Senator Whitehouse. When questioned on the Ricci case, Attorney General McDaniel said that the Second Circuit applied precedence correctly.

1:18-PM-CDT-Attorney General McDaniel said in his testimony that Judge Sotomayor's ruling in the Ricci case is not judicial activism.

1:15-PM-CDT-Attorney General McDaniel is testifying in favor of Judge Sotomayor's ruling of Ricci V. DeStefano.

1:13-PM-CDT-The next witness is Dustin McDaniel, Attorney General of Arkansas. Mr. McDaniel has been sworn in.

1:08-PM-CDT-Senator Whitehouse ordered a brief recess to assemble the next panel of witnesses. The next panel includes New Haven, CT firefighter Frank Ricci. Mr. Ricci is a witness testifying on behalf of the minority.

1:06-PM-CDT-Both Ms. Askew and Ms. Boies have been excused from further testimony.

1:03-PM-CDT-Both Ms. Askew and Ms. Boies are answering questions in regard to Ricci v. DeStefano.

12:56-PM-CDT-Senator Whitehouse finished his questioning to Ms. Askew and Ms. Boies. Senator Sessions began his questioning to both Ms. Askew and Ms. Boies.

12:49-PM-CDT-Ms. Askew and Ms. Boies are done testifying. Senator Whitehouse began his questioning to Ms. Askew and Ms. Boies.

12:47-PM-CDT-Ms. Askew is describing the ABA's reasoning for giving Judge Sotomayor a "well qualified" rating.

12:44-PM-CDT-The first panel testimony comes from Kim Askew and Mary Boies of the American Bar Association. Ms. Askew is currently speaking to the committee describing Judge Sotomayor's rating by the American Bar Association.

12:42-PM-CDT-The hearing has been called back into order. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is presiding over the first witness panel testimony.

12:40-PM-CDT-The confirmation hearing will reconvene shortly. Next on the agenda will be the first panel of witnesses who are called to testify. The first witnesses are from the American Bar Association.

12:24-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy ordered the meeting into a ten minute recess.

12:17-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy and Ranking member sessions extended their thanks to Judge Sotomayor for her cooperation during the hearing.

12:07-PM-CDT-Senator Cornyn ended his questioning. Chairman Leahy asked his final questions on behalf of the majority.

11:55-AM-CDT-Senator Graham ended his questioning. Senator John Cornyn began his final questions on behalf of the minority.

11:45-AM-CDT-Senator Kyl ended his questioning. Senator Lindsey Graham began his final questions on behalf of the minority.

11:35-AM-CDT-Senator Grassley ended his questioning. Senator Jon Kyl began his final questions on behalf of the minority.

11:27-AM-CDT-Senator Hatch ended his questioning. Senator Chuck Grassley began his final questions on behalf of the minority.

11:21-AM-CDT-Senator Orrin Hatch began his final questions on behalf of the minority.

11:10-AM-CDT-Ranking member Jeff Sessions asked his final questions on behalf of the minority.

11:08-AM-CDT-Senator Franken, after asking some brief questions, ended his questioning.

11:00-AM-CDT-Senator Coburn ended his questioning. Senator Al Franken started his questioning.

10:47-AM-CDT-Senator Coburn, after Judge Sotomayor's response, expressed concern about how Judge Sotomayor would interpret the Fourteenth Amendment. Senator Coburn mentioned Maloney v. Cuomo which involves states' rights towards the Second Amendment.

10:44-AM-CDT-Senator Coburn moved his questioning into issues of the Second Amendment. Senator Coburn expressed concerns from Oklahoma constituents on Second Amendment issues. Senator Coburn asked if Judge Sotomayor would rule on sound precedence if faced with a gun-related case. Judge Sotomayor responded to Senator Coburn that she would rule with an open mind if faced with such a case.

10:39-AM-CDT-Senator Coburn began his questioning. When asked by Senator Coburn on the use of international law and its proper application, Judge Sotomayor responded that she would not use international law in areas where the Constitution does not permit its use.

10:38-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy re-convened the hearing.

10:21-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy ordered the hearing into a short recess.

10:20-AM-CDT-Senator Specter expressed concern over some questions not being answered by Judge Sotomayor on the issue of separation of powers.

10:13-AM-CDT-Senator Specter moved his questioning into the District of Columbia v. Heller case.

10:03-AM-CDT-Senator Specter asked Judge Sotomayor about Riverkeeper, Inc. vs. EPA.

10:00-AM-CDT-Senator Arlen Specter began his second round questions.

9:58-AM-CDT-Senator Cornyn ended his questioning.

9:56-AM-CDT-Senator Cornyn moved his questioning into Ricci v. DeStefano. Senator Cornyn mentioned that two New Haven firefighters are scheduled to testify on Thursday. Benjamin Vargas who is scheduled to testify is of puertan rican descent. Mr. Vargas responded that the quota system and race-based promotions are a "lousy way to decide." When asked about agreeing with John Roberts's statement on race-based promotions--"the way to stop discriminating on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race"--Judge Sotomayor responded that her response would come down to the Constitution and case facts.

9:52-AM-CDT-Senator Cornyn moved his questioning into campaign finance reform, especially McCain-Feingold. Senator Cornyn asked the Judge what is the difference between a political contribution or a bribe, Judge Sotomayor said it came down to how a person uses their money to influence a political outcome from an election to passing legislation.

9:49-AM-CDT-Senator Cornyn asked if there is a difference between making and interpreting the law, Judge Sotomayor responded that the difference between interpreting and making laws comes down to the constitutional boundaries.

9:46-AM-CDT-Senator Cornyn expressed concern from his constituents on her judicial record, however Judge Sotomayor responded to the Senator that Senator Cornyn's constituents should look at her record alone.

9:41-AM-CDT-Senator John Cornyn began his questioning.

9:40-AM-CDT-Senator Klobuchar ended her questioning.

9:38-AM-CDT-Senator Klobuchar asked Judge Sotomayor on U.S. v. Giordano.

9:31-AM-CDT-Senator Klobuchar mentioned letters of support from special interest groups in the law enforcement area for the record.

9:27-AM-CDT-Senator Amy Klobuchar started her questioning. Senator Klobuchar asked two brief questions.

9:26-AM-CDT-Senator Graham asked Judge Sotomayor on the "wise latina" remark. Judge Sotomayor admitted to regret to the statement. Senator Graham ended his questioning.

9:22-AM-CDT-Senator Graham asked Judge Sotomayor about the PRLDEF's mission. Judge Sotomayor said it was to promote civil rights for hispanics in the United States.

9:18-AM-CDT-Senator Graham asked Judge Sotomayor if she embraced identity politics personally. Judge Sotomayor responded that she does not embrace identity politics. This was asked about her involvement in the Puerto Rico Legal Defense and Education Fund.

9:10-AM-CDT-Senator Graham asked Judge Sotomayor on how the Second Amendment is a fundamental right if asked to rule in a case that came to the court. Judge Sotomayor responded that she would look at past precedence and case laws to determine a ruling.

9:08-AM-CDT-Senator Graham asked Judge Sotomayor about ballot measures and asked Judge Sotomayor if she understood the full faith and credit clause. Judge Sotomayor responded yes.

9:06-AM-CDT-Senator Feinstien ended her questioning. Lindsey Graham started his questioning.

9:02-AM-CDT-Senator Feinstein talked to Judge Sotomayor about the "wise latina" remark but in a positive light, but then asked Judge Sotomayor how her possible confirmation could empower women. Judge Sotomayor responded that her career as a judge allowed her to serve as an inspiration to others and give back to the community. Judge Sotomayor mentioned how US history has inspired people to break barriers.

8:59-AM-CDT-Senator Feinstein asked Judge Sotomayor on the court's precedence.

8:58-AM-CDT-Senator Dianne Feinstein began her second round questioning.

8:57-AM-CDT-Senator Kyl ended his second round questioning.

8:53-AM-CDT-Senator Kyl also asked about Judge Sotomayor in the Ricci case in which all nine justices of the Supreme Court of the United States reversed the Ricci case and also the criticism Ruth Bader Ginsburg had towards Judge Sotomayor's ruling.

8:48-AM-CDT-Senator Kyl also asked Judge Sotomayor on fellow Second Circuit judge Jose Cabranes who was critical of the Ricci case ruling. Judge Sotomayor responded that substantial evidence is needed, not good faith in determining disparate impact in discrimination cases similar to Ricci.

8:46-AM-CDT-During the second round of questions, each Senator is allowed 20 minutes to question, but they don't need to use the whole amount of time.

8:44-AM-CDT-Still on the same issue of the Ricci case, Senator Kyl scolded Judge Sotomayor for spending half of the senator's allotted 20 minutes on the same issue.

8:36-AM-CDT-Senator Kyl began his questioning on Ricci v. DeStefano and questioned Judge Sotomayor's ruling as Senator Kyl said that there was no Supreme Court precedence on the case. Judge Sotomayor rebutted Senator Kyl's question as the judge stated that previous Second circuit cases involving disparate impact discrimination had set precedence.

8:35-AM-CDT-Senator Jon Kyl began his second round questions.

8:33-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy ordered the meeting to begin.

8:31-AM-CDT-Senators and Judge Sotomayor file into the hearing room.

July 15, 2009

All times listed are Central Time unless otherwise noted.

4:49-PM-CDT-Day 3 of the hearing ends.

4:47-PM-CDT-Senator Cardin asked the remaining amount of his questions on the role of religion on the court.

4:44-PM-CDT-Senator Cardin asked his first set of questions on acceptance of cases in the Supreme Court.

4:39-PM-CDT-Senator Grassley ended his questioning, the last set of questions for the day goes to Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland.

4:37-PM-CDT-Senator Grassley re-questioned Judge Sotomayor on the takings clause, especially on the Didden case about the issue of time limits. Judge Sotomayor responded that the time limit was necessary because of the agreement the developer had with the respective state.

4:31-PM-CDT-Senator Grassley asked if Judges had a right to go against the will of law making bodies to make policy as Grassley mentioned a speech that contained that statement. Judge Sotomayor responded that the statement was taken out of context.

4:27-PM-CDT-Senator Grassley asked about if identity politics should affect judging, Judge Sotomayor responded that it is wrong to let gender or race decide cases.

4:23-PM-CDT-Senator Grassley asked about a statement that Judge Sotomayor stated ignoring differences is a disservice to the judiciary, however Judge Sotomayor said judges should be impartial and also to strive for impartial justice.

4:23-PM-CDT-Senator Grassley asked about a possible case of the Defense of Marriage Act and relation to state related protections Judge Sotomayor could not comment on the basis of the case due to American Bar Association policy.

4:16-PM-CDT-Senator Chuck Grassley began his questioning.

4:12-PM-CDT-Senator Feingold talked about McCain-Feingold and how it was overruled on two occasions in the past few years. When asked about corporate contributions in elections, Judge Sotomayor responded under a special circumstance of the case being upcoming that she could'nt respond fully.

4:10-PM-CDT-Senator Feingold talked about case recusal and asked about impartiality. Judge Sotomayor responded that judges follow the code of conducts set by their jurisdiction. Capertown v. Massey was mentioned in the questioning. Judge Sotomayor said it also that that the law is minimum someone can act and it is up to all court participants to uphold the highest standards.

4:10-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy ordered the meeting back in session. Senator Russ Feingold begins his questioning.

3:52-PM-CDT-Senator Hatch concluded his questioning. Chairman Leahy ordered a fifteen minute recess.

3:50-PM-CDT-Senator Hatch asked Judge Sotomayor on whether judicial impartiality is a aspiration or a duty. Judge Sotomayor responded that its a duty to act impartially.

3:47-PM-CDT-Senator Hatch asked Judge Sotomayor on if judges can transcend sympathy in judicial decision making. Judge Sotomayor responded yes.

3:40-PM-CDT-Senator Hatch asked Judge Sotomayor on her speech at Duke Law on the court of appeals is where policy is made. Sotomayor's speech on can be viewed on her biographical page.

3:38-PM-CDT-Senator Hatch asked Judge Sotomayor if the Constitution can hold a judge accountable if a judge oversteps his or her authority. Judge Sotomayor said that the role of the judge is to uphold the rule of the law and the boundaries of the statutes hold judges accountable if they overstep.

3:38-PM-CDT-Senator Hatch asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of the Constitution on the statement if the Supreme Court bends rights into the Constitution. Judge Sotomayor responded, "words are words and thats the way it is." "Courts can't change the meaning of the constitution, but can use the words to determine if the protections can be upheld," said Judge Sotomayor.

3:35-PM-CDT-Senator Hatch asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of right to privacy mentioning a ruling on a privacy case written in the Seventh Circuit by Richard Posner. Judge Sotomayor responded that states are held by due process procedures on key issues including search and seizure which is ruled in the right of due process.

3:31-PM-CDT-Senator Kohl concluded his questions. Senator Orrin Hatch began his second round questions.

3:25-PM-CDT-Senator Kohl asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of accepting cases, especially when the court hears one percent of all appeals from circuit courts every year. Judge Sotomayor responded that disagreements between federal appeals and state appeals courts should be highly considered. However, Judge Sotomayor said that she would exercise caution in granting certification to cases as Sotomayor acknowledge that each case's facts are different.

3:22-PM-CDT-Senator Kohl moved to anti-trust law, especially on difficulties for small businesses and consumers who need to bring such litigation. Judge Sotomayor responded to Senator Kohl on his concerns of anti-trust law especially in a recent ruling which required small businesses to show economic damage to a greater extent. It would have to be up to Congress according to Judge Sotomayor to rule on the requirements of economic damage.

3:19-PM-CDT-Senator Kohl asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of judicial precedence and public perception. Judge Sotomayor talked about how the public's perception of Brown v. Broad of Education allowed for change of perceptions on the perception, separate but equal.

3:17-PM-CDT-Senator Herb Kohl began his second round questions.

3:10-PM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor was asked by Senator Sessions about international law and re-affirmed her stance that international law on broad usage would not work in the federal judiciary.

3:05-PM-CDT-Ranking member sessions also mentioned about National Rifle Association v. Chicago which was recently ruled in the Seventh Circuit with the opinion written by Frank Easterbrook.

3:00-PM-CDT-Ranking member Sessions moved to the Second Amendment on a concern if the Second Amendment could be overturned. Judge Sotomayor responded that if a situation could come under the rational basis test that a city could rule against the Second Amendment if protected and upheld by the court.

2:57-PM-CDT-Ranking member Sessions began on the "wise latina" remark, but defers to a remark by Sandra Day O'Connor that "a wise old man and a wise old woman" can reach the same decision. Judge Sotomayor reassured ranking member Sessions that, in accordance to the judicial activism definition of Senator Orrin Hatch, she would not rule above the bounds of the law. Judge Sotomayor took responsibility of the "wise latina" remark and said it was a "rhetorical failure."

2:55-PM-CDT-Ranking member Jeff Sessions began his second round questions.

2:51-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy asked about the meaning of constitutional rights, Judge Sotomayor responded that importance of protecting rights including the right to counsel are important to protect to rights as long as they are strictly enforced.

2:47-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy asked in regards to strip search cases could be impacted by a female justice on the Supreme Court, Judge Sotomayor mentioned that a female perspective could help understand the vulnerability of litigants in sensitive cases.

2:45-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy started his second round questions beginning on the issue of strip searches.

2:40-PM-CDT-The issues in the hearing room has been resolved, meeting resumes.

2:38-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy was going to re-convene the hearings, but Chairman Leahy experienced microphone problems so a extended recess was ordered.

2:09-PM-CDT-The hearings resume at 4:00-PM-EDT/1:00PM-PDT. The time the hearing reconvenes will be subject to change.

2:06-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy has ordered the meetings in recess for the closed-door session involving Judge Sotomayor's background check from the FBI. Again, all of us at Judgepedia apologize for the technical delay during Senator Franken's questioning.

2:04-PM-CDT-Senator Franken asked Judge Sotomayor if whether the right to privacy involves the right to abortion, that the Casey v. Florida ruling that grants that privacy.

2:01-PM-CDT-Senator Franken asked about the issue of the Constitution on the right of privacy, Judge Sotomayor said that the Constitution would uphold privacy as Sotomayor claimed was through the commerce clause and in previous cases in over 90 years of past precedence.

1:44-PM-CDT-The first round questioning will conclude with Senator Al Franken. Judgepedia had again experienced technical difficulties beyond our control and we apologize for the technical difficulties.

1:30-PM-CDT-Senator Specter asks Judge Sotomayor on televising Supreme Court hearings on national television. The role of televising hearings comes into account about Bush v. Gore which was decided by the Supreme Court and its accountability which was a concern of Senator Specter.

1:22-PM-CDT-Senator Specter asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of proportionality quotas in regards to the Americans with Disabilities Act in regards to separation of powers. Judge Sotomayor responded that the Supreme Court would determine the boundaries Congress can enforce the quotas.

1:18-PM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor is being questioned on Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in relation to Roe v. Wade where 38 different cases of Roe v. Wade have been tried in the last thirty years. Senator Specter talked about the courts changing precedence, Judge Sotomayor said that it depends on how court evaluates the case.

1:13-PM-CDT-Senator Specter moved his questioning in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which included a Sixth Circuit case that was not granted review by the Supreme Court on FISA compliance. Senator Specter criticized Judge Sotomayor for not giving a direct response.

1:12-PM-CDT-Senator Specter asked if whether the Supreme Court should be taking on more cases as the number of cases has increased over thirty years in the Supreme Court.

1:09-PM-CDT-Senator Specter is beginning with commentary of past nominee's racial and ethnic backgrounds.

1:05-PM-CDT-Senator Specter began his questioning.

1:03-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy has resumed the hearing back in session.

12:50-PM-CDT-The hearing will resume in a little bit. On the agenda for the second half of Wednesday's meeting is remaining first round questioning from Senators Arlen Specter and Al Franken. Judgepedia will recess from its coverage at 3:00 PM-ET/12:00-PM-PT for the closed session involving Judge Sotomayor's FBI report, then Judgepedia will resume coverage as the rest of the day will be allotted for second round questions.

11:58-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy recessed the meeting for a lunch break. The meeting will return back in recess until 2:00-PM/11:00-AM PT. Again, we apologize for any technical difficulties during Senator Kaufman's questioning as there were delays in the C-SPAN and Senate Judiciary Committee live video feeds.

11:56-AM-CDT-Senator Kaufman expressed concern that there is an erosion in anti-trust law which has been a key issue regarding bank mergers that has listed as one of a list of key causes in the economic crisis.

11:51-AM-CDT-Senator Kaufman asked Judge Sotomayor on anti-trust law. Judge Sotomayor responded back on her appellate experience, but said to Senator Kaufman that she could send Senator Kaufman any Southern District of New York anti-trust ruling in a written response.

11:50-AM-CDT-Senator Kaufman asked Judge Sotomayor about antitrust law.

11:43-AM-CDT-Senator Kaufman asked Judge Sotomayor about securities laws. Judge Sotomayor said that her business law experience and the depth and breadth of securities law cases have helped her rule in certain cases, from investment decisions to insider trading.

11:42-AM-CDT-Senator Kaufman is still questioning Judge Sotomayor on contract and corporate law. We have been experiencing technical delays on the C-SPAN and Senate Judiciary Committee video feeds and we apologize for any technical difficulties.

11:33-AM-CDT-Senator Kaufman asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of how her experience in corporate litigation has helped in judging civil cases.

11:27-AM-CDT-Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware began his questioning.

11:26-AM-CDT-Senator Klobuchar ended her questioning

11:24-AM-CDT-Senator Klobuchar asked Judge Sotomayor about changes in federal sentencing guidelines. Judge Sotomayor responded that the guidelines set today are responsive to changes in sentencing laws.

11:20-AM-CDT-Senator Klobuchar asked Judge Sotomayor about some criticisms from legal experts involving allegedly long sentences. Judge Sotomayor responded that sentencing guidelines under federal law may have impacted the analysis. Judge Sotomayor said that guidelines in the past did not take into account victims, rather the amount of dollars that were committed in white collar crimes such as fraud.

11:17-AM-CDT-Senator Klobuchar asked Judge Sotomayor about some criticisms from legal experts involving her allegedly lengthy, probing opinions that sometimes re-examined the facts. Senator Klobuchar mentioned a former law clerk of Clarence Thomas who praised Sotomayor's ability. Judge Sotomayor responded that evaluating laws takes time to examine the facts at hand. Judge Sotomayor said that evaluating cases is not "fact-finding".

11:08-AM-CDT-Senator Klobuchar asked Judge Sotomayor about her handling of criminal cases during her judicial career. Klobuchar talked about United States v. Falso, a pornography case. Judge Sotomayor talked about whether a warrant issued by federal prosecutors contained enough information to conduct a proper search and seizure, especially in terms of searching digital property. Judge Sotomayor talked about her role in the three judge panel with division of facts involving the good faith clause in federal search laws.

11:01-AM-CDT-Senator Klobuchar asked Judge Sotomayor on the ethical role of a prosecutor. Judge Sotomayor said that a judge must act within the bounds of the law. like a judge. She also acknowledged that such sentencing might go against public opinion. This had allowed according to Judge Sotomayor to form her basis of a judicial philosophy.

10:59-AM-CDT-Senator Klobuchar asked Judge Sotomayor about her attitude regarding the criminal justice system. Judge Sotomayor responded that prosecutors must continue to educate themselves in order to improve the quality of their work.

10:58-AM-CDT-Senator Klobuchar asked Judge Sotomayor to conduct some follow-up questioning on some other Senators' questions.

10:56-AM-CDT-Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota began her questioning.

10:55-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy order the meeting back in session.

10:30-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy ordered the meeting for a fifteen minute recess.

10:29-AM-CDT-Senator Whitehouse asked Judge Sotomayor about the issue of privacy in an era where there could be cyber-terrorism. Judge Sotomayor said that privacy has to be safe-guarded, and it has to be protected under a warrant system in which federal authorities must swear out to a magistrate before being granted the right to search in the event a cyber terrorism. Senator Whitehouse also expressed concern in transparency databases over the right of privacy to personal information.

10:25-AM-CDT-Senator Whitehouse asked Judge Sotomayor about the Fourth Amendment and the warrant requirement for searches and seizures, especially in light of electronic searches.

10:22-AM-CDT-Senator Whitehouse asked Judge Sotomayor about the role of checks and balances in government. Judge Sotomayor said that the Constitution must dictate on how the powers of checks and balances can be carried out. Senator Whitehouse asked that question in regards to concerns the Senator has had over the abuse of checks and balances.

10:14-AM-CDT-Senator Whitehouse asked Judge Sotomayor about the role of the jury in the American system of government. Judge Sotomayor responded that the founding fathers of the nation believed in juries to stem inherent corruption. Judge Sotomayor talked about the commitment jurors have in today's legal system to uphold the role of trial by jury.

10:11-AM-CDT-Senator Whitehouse asked Judge Sotomayor in her role with the Puerto Rico Legal Defense and Education Fund if she vetted cases while she was a board member, Judge Sotomayor denied any role in vetting cases that the practicing attorneys representing the organization made the decisions to vet.

10:10-AM-CDT-Senator Whitehouse asked Judge Sotomayor to pledge to rule within the bounds of the judiciary, Judge Sotomayor responded to Senator Whitehouse's demand to follow the pledge.

10:08-AM-CDT-Senator Coburn ended questions, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island started his questioning.

10:07-AM-CDT-Senator Coburn asked Judge Sotomayor about on how the international perception of the American judicial system could affect the American image, Judge Sotomayor responded that judges do not rule for anyone in particular.

10:01-AM-CDT-Senator Coburn asked Judge Sotomayor about the usage of international law outside of treaties, Judge Sotomayor responded that international law does not fit well within the context of American law to be used in our legal system.

9:56-AM-CDT-Senator Coburn asked Judge Sotomayor if she thought he had an inherent right to self-defense. Judge Sotomayor replied by describing the criminal law doctrine regarding whether the right to self-defense--and the extent--depends on the immediacy of a threat.

9:52-AM-CDT-Senator Coburn questioned Judge Sotomayor on the issue of the Fourteenth Amendment and how there could be an unclear difference between the Fourteenth Amendment protecting the Constitution at the state level versus other interpretations of other amendments of the Constitution. In response to Senator Coburn, Judge Sotomayor said that the intent of the states must be taken into account to whether there is valid protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.

9:47-AM-CDT-Senator Coburn moved his questioning into gun rights, especially on Maloney v. Cuomo. Judge Sotomayor responded that the Maloney case was different than District of Columbia v. Heller on the basis on the rights of the Second Amendment was incorporated differently at the state level over the federal level. The difference between Heller case over the Maloney case is that Maloney involves New York state while Heller was focused on the District of Columbia as DC is a federal territory, not a state.

9:44-AM-CDT-Senator Coburn questioned Judge Sotomayor on the issue of a state legislature's definition of death. Judge Sotomayor responded that the legality is on the basis of a local statute.

9:42-AM-CDT-Senator Coburn questioned Judge Sotomayor on the issue of technology in critical cases including abortion, Judge Sotomayor responded that it is more of an answer courts tackle during the evaluation of a case.

9:40-AM-CDT-Senator Coburn, a practicing physician began his questioning on abortion. Judge Sotomayor that deference must be given to state by state legislation to determine the legality of abortion.

9:38-AM-CDT-Senator Tom Coburn began his questioning.

9:36-AM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor replied that the Founding Fathers valued involvement in society through public service.

9:33-AM-CDT-Senator Cardin brought up the issue of pro bono work and the need for all clients to have equal access. He also cited his background with ensuring that poor clients receive the counsel of good lawyers.

9:28-AM-CDT-Senator Cardin moved his questioning over on the issue of hate crimes and race-related crimes. Judge Sotomayor said that she would rule on the facts on a case-by-case basis on cases involving race or hate crimes.

9:23-AM-CDT-Senator Cardin asked Judge Sotomayor on the subject of improving diversity in our nation, especially on the federal bench. Judge Sotomayor responded that there needs to be a continued focus towards diversity especially in the wake of the University of Michigan Law case in which challenged Michigan Law's admissions policy.

9:22-AM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor responded to Senator Cardin that activism should not be a concern even in the reversal of the Riverkeeper v. EPA stating that Congress should be the ones who change laws in response to judicial rulings.

9:16-AM-CDT-Senator Cardin moved his questioning over the Riverkeeper, Inc. vs. EPA case and other environmental cases praising Judge Sotomayor for answering questions well to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, but expressed concern over judicial activism in environmental cases.

9:09-AM-CDT-Senator Cardin responds to criticism made by Senator Lindsey Graham on Judge Sotomayor's demeanor by reading positive comments on Judge Sotomayor. These comments are made in The Almanac of the Federal Judiciary.

9:07-AM-CDT-Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland opened his questioning on Judge Sotomayor.

9:05-AM-CDT-Senator Cornyn ended his questioning.

9:00-AM-CDT-Senator Cornyn asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of Ricci v. DeStefano over how the published opinion was unsigned and short. Judge Sotomayor said that a 78-page opinion filed by the District of Connecticut preempted the need of a lengthy opinion in the Second Circuit. Senator Cornyn also criticized Judge Sotomayor for not looking beyond a reasonable doubt in the Ricci case.

8:55-AM-CDT-Senator Cornyn questioned Judge Sotomayor on her stance on abortion, particularly concerning a Washington Post story that said that Judge Sotomayor had a "liberal instinct" to abortion. Judge Sotomayor denied the charges as Judge Sotomayor said to Senator Cornyn that her upheld stance on the Mexico City statute shows more of a pro-life stance.

8:52-AM-CDT-Senator Cornyn questioned Judge Sotomayor on whether physiological differences of judges could affect the outcome of a case. Judge Sotomayor responded that it is more of a hypothetical question over a process, however Senator Cornyn expressed reservation over the answer.

8:47-AM-CDT-Senator Cornyn questioned Judge Sotomayor on a speech described by Senator Cornyn as "celebrating uncertainty to the law."

8:44-AM-CDT-In response to Senator Cornyn, Judge Sotomayor defended her remarks in a speech called "Returning majesty to the law."

8:42-AM-CDT-Senator Cornyn asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of judges changing laws. Judge Sotomayor replied that some cases can be radical and can cause changes in law. Furthermore, some precedence in the Supreme Court allows for changes to be made.

8:33-AM-CDT-Senator John Cornyn of Texas took the floor.

8:30-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy called the meeting to order.

July 14, 2009

All times listed are Central Daylight Time unless otherwise noted

The third day of meetings will happen on July 14th at 9:30 AM-EDT/6:30 AM-PDT . There will be a live web-cast without commercial interruption on the Senate Judiciary Committee (dead link) website.

National Review (timed out) link to their confirmation hearing coverage.

4:26-PM-CDT-Day 2 Confirmation hearings end. Join Judgepedia tomorrow at 9:30 AM-EDT/6:30 AM-PDT for Day 3 gavel to gavel coverage.

4:20-PM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor was asked by Senator Durbin on the role of immigration cases, in regards to concerns made by Richard Posner in 2005 over the streamlining of immigration judicial procedure that "has fallen below the legal standard." Judge Sotomayor said that the streamlining allowed for federal authorities to improve procedures, but said that there is room for improvement in the amount of appeals going to federal appeals court on immigration matters.

4:15-PM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor responded to Senator Durbin and said that it may be unsatisfying to sentence someone, but said that the law changes in crack sentence minimums would allow the system to work out the disparities.

4:11-PM-CDT-Senator Durbin asked on the racial impact of the prison system, especially with disparities with crack sentences. This is related to Judge Sotomayor's sentencing of Luis Gomez to five years in prison, despite her opposition to mandatory minimums in a trial level drug case.

4:08-PM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor responded to Senator Durbin that the legislative branch must be the group of officials to reform death penalty laws.

4:05-PM-CDT-Senator Durbin asked Judge Sotomayor about racial impacts on the death penalty, in regards to a 1981 PRLDEF memo against the death penalty.

4:02-PM-CDT-Senator Durbin asked Judge Sotomayor about her stance on the death penalty, Judge Sotomayor said that she has expressed caution on imposing her personal views on certain issues.

3:58-PM-CDT-Senator Durbin began his questioning on the "wise latina" remark.

3:53-PM-CDT-Senator Dick Durbin began his questioning.

3:51-PM-CDT-Senator Graham asked Judge Sotomayor about what she felt about the death penalty and the PRLDEF opposing the death penalty. The Judge Sotomayor had no opinion despite ruling for the death penalty on certain cases on basis of Supreme Court precedence.

3:46-PM-CDT-Senator Graham asked Judge Sotomayor about what she felt about the briefs the PRLDEF filed in support to taxpayer funded abortion.

3:46-PM-CDT-Senator Graham asked about a PRLDEF brief on Medicaid funding for abortion. According to the brief the absence of funds "would take away the right to choose and impose slavery." Sotomayor replied to Senator Graham by saying that she was not aware of the brief.

3:46-PM-CDT-Senator Graham began to ask questions about the Puerto Rico Legal Defense and Education Fund.

3:42-PM-CDT-Senator Graham asked questions about terrorism, in relations to detainees of Guantanamo Bay.

3:40-PM-CDT-Senator Graham mentioned that the confirmation hearing process allows for people to have a second chance to clarify remarks taken out of context.

3:38-PM-CDT-Senator Graham mentioned: "that if I made that same ("wise latina"} remark, they (the public) would have my head."

3:37-PM-CDT-Senator Graham mentioned serious concerns about the "wise latina" remark. However, Senator Graham expressed the need for more women and minorities to serve in the legal sector.

3:32-PM-CDT-Senator Graham asked if whether if Judge Sotomayor had an attitude problem, Judge Sotomayor denied having such a problem. Senator Graham also elaborated: "that these hearings may be a time to evaluate" in regards to the judge's temperament.

3:30-PM-CDT-Senator Graham asked about the Judicial Almanac, and lawyers have said in anonymous comments that attorneys do not like Judge Sotomayor's temperament. Judge Sotomayor responded that despite the process in the Second Circuit only allows ten minute arguments on each side, makes it challenging for attorneys who claim the Second Circuit is noted as a "hot bench."

3:28-PM-CDT-Senator Graham asked if whether Roe v. Wade changed society, that basically other developments in society in addition to key rulings have changed society according to Judge Sotomayor.

3:26-PM-CDT-When asked about the terms strict constructionist and originalist, Judge Sotomayor said that she would not use such labels in her philosophy.

3:25-PM-CDT-Senator Schumer ended his questioning, Lindsey Graham began his questioning.

3:21-PM-CDT-Senator Schumer asked about Judge Sotomayor's importance in the 1995 baseball strike case, the ruling that ended the long 1994-95 baseball strike.

3:21-PM-CDT-Senator Schumer asked about Judge Sotomayor's interest in baseball.

3:17-PM-CDT-Senator Schumer asked on whether there is a proper role for international law in the federal judiciary. Judge Sotomayor responded that because of the many differences between foreign law and American law has no broad role in law application only but treaties.

3:15-PM-CDT-Senator Schumer said from Judge Sotomayor's responses on rule of law demonstrates her record in response to charges made about judicial empathy affecting her ability to rule.

3:09-PM-CDT-Senator Schumer asked about Judge Sotomayor on how she would rule on immigration cases. Judge Sotomayor responded that there is a different level of review, that it is not more judicial but administrative according to Judge Sotomayor. Judge Sotomayor mentioned that the chevron doctrine affects cases, but has concerns that the appeals courts in some circuits do not follow procedure or apply the facts erroneously.

3:02-PM-CDT-Senator Schumer asked about Papas v. Giuliani if whether the speech the plaintiff delivered was offensive. Judge Sotomayor said she would have to rule within the law even if she might have sympathy towards the plaintiff.

3:01-PM-CDT-Senator Schumer continued to ask about having sympathy to litigants, especially in the case of African-American prison guards. Judge Sotomayor replied that she had to rule within the bounds of the law.

3:00-PM-CDT-Senator Schumer asked if whether Judge Sotomayor ruled against families who were suffering. Acknowledging her dissent in that case, Judge Sotomayor replied to Senator Schumer: "It was tough, but I had to rule within the law."

2:59-PM-CDT-Senator Schumer asked whether Judge Sotomayor had sympathy involving a case that impacted families on the 1996 TWA Flight 800 crash. Judge Sotomayor dissented on a Second Circuit panel involving the families of the 1996 crash off the shore of Long Island.

2:57-PM-CDT-Senator Schumer began to ask questions about her judicial record.

2:55-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy gaveled back the meeting back in order. Senator Chuck Schumer took his turn to ask Judge Sotomayor.

2:32-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy ordered the meeting in a brief recess.

2:30-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy mentioned how Samuel Alito thinks about impacts towards his family when judging discrimination cases.

2:29-PM-CDT-Senator Kyl made an accusation that Judge Sotomayor could contradict her previous remarks that gender and race could impact judging and mentioned an remark involving the Minnesota Supreme Court in the speech's context versus the testimony given to Senator Kyl from Judge Sotomayor.

2:24-PM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor responded back to Senator Kyl, saying that her speech was meant to inspire students to believe in their goals, and said that their life experiences enrich the legal system.

2:20-PM-CDT-Senator Kyl mentioned some of Judge Sotomayor speeches including the "wise latina" remark. Senator Kyl said that some of his Arizona constituents expressed concern over these comments and the notion that ethnicity or gender could produce a different or better legal decision.

2:15-PM-CDT-Senator Kyl asked Judge Sotomayor if whether Judge Sotomayor can rule on law and not empathy. Judge Sotomayor said that she would only respond on the basis of the law to the facts at hand.

2:10-PM-CDT-Senator Kyl mentioned concerns of impartiality and impropriety if Judge Sotomayor ruled in any of the pending gun cases to the Supreme Court of the United States.

2:05-PM-CDT-Senator Kyl began his questioning by considering what Senator Feingold asked--whether Judge Sotomayor should recuse herself from the Maloney v. Cuomo' case if confirmed to the Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor responded that the decision to recuse herself will consider depending on how the Supreme Court could certify the case on certain grounds.

2:02-PM-CDT-Senator Jon Kyl began his questioning.

2:00-PM-CDT-Senator Feingold ended his questioning.

1:59-PM-CDT-Senator Feingold asked Judge Sotomayor on how her ability to judge would relate to rural America. Judge Sotomayor talked about using new life experiences to know more about the people America in relation to understanding the burden that litigants may have coming from a rural background.

1:52-PM-CDT-Senator Feingold continued to ask in the Heller case involving the Second Amendment if whether state constitutional protections can be protected and how would Judge Sotomayor would rule. Judge Sotomayor said that she would have to examine the laws carefully before making a decision.

1:46-PM-CDT-Senator Feingold asks Judge Sotomayor about the National Rifle Association v. Chicago case and the Maloney v. Cuomo Second Amendment cases, and Judge Sotomayor said that, if confirmed, there could be a possibility that Judge Sotomayor may have to recuse herself from the possible cases in the Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor said that the question on whether to recuse is on a case-by-case basis.

1:43-PM-CDT-Senator Feingold asked Judge Sotomayor about the so-called torture memos that have implicated current Ninth Circuit judge Jay Bybee.

1:39-PM-CDT-Senator Feingold asked a similar question about rebuking the executive and congressional powers, this time from the case of Youngstown Steel and the Truman administration.

1:37-PM-CDT-Senator Feingold asked Judge Sotomayor about the court's role in post-9-11 policies including the Patriot Act.

1:36-PM-CDT-Asked whether the Supreme Court reversal of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld suggests a rebuke of the executive and congressional powers, Judge Sotomayor said that she, as a judge, does not see reversals in the manner that Senator Feingold suggested.

1:36-PM-CDT-Senator Feingold asked Judge Sotomayor if she predicts any embarassment and regret over how the Bush administration acted in the wake of September 11, 2001.

1:34-PM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor said, "the Constituation is a timeless document...it has protected us as a nation...that doesn't change."

1:32-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy gave the floor to Senator Russ Feingold, who first expressed support for bringing cameras into the Supreme Court. He then asked Judge Sotomayor about abuses of power by the Bush administration in the wake of September 11, 2001.

1:32-PM-CDT-Senator Grassley ended his questioning.

1:23-PM-CDT-Senator Grassley asked Judge Sotomayor about the Supreme Court's reversal of her ruling in Riverkeeper, Inc. vs. EPA, an environmental case involving the use of technology to minimize adverse impact to river habitats. "Given that Congress did not use cost-benefit (analysis)" in its statutory language, Judge Sotomayor said, then Congress must have intended for the EPA not to use a strict cost-benefit analysis.

1:22-PM-CDT-Senator Grassley asked why Judge Sotomayor, in Didden, did not elaborate about the Supreme Court ruling in Kelo. Judge Sotomayor said that the holding in Didden was based on the statute of limitations and not the ruling of Kelo.

1:13-PM-CDT-A protester was quickly escorted by Capitol police officers. Making light of the incident, Senator Grassley stated that he has the frequent ability to "turn people on."

1:12-PM-CDT-Senator Grassley asked Judge Sotomayor about her about the "takings" issue in other cases, Didden v. Village of Port Chester.

1:10-PM-CDT-Senator Grassley asked Judge Sotomayor if the Constitution demanded compensation for a "takings" of private property. Judge Sotomayor mentioned that her answer would depend on what constituted a "takings."

1:07-PM-CDT-Senator Grassley asked Judge Sotomayor if she thought the Supreme Court overstepped its constitutional authority in Kelo. Judge deferred to the Supreme Court's ruling.

1:01-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy gave the floor to Senator Chuck Grassley, who first asked Judge Sotomayor about her understanding of Kelo v. New London. Judge Sotomayor said that public use and public purpose "inform each other."

1:00-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy reconvened the committee hearing.

11:30-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy ordered the hearings in lunch recess until 2 PM-Eastern Time/11 AM-Pacific Time. Judgepedia will be back to resume the hearings when Chairman Leahy gavels the hearing back into session.

11:22-AM-CDT-Senator Feinstein asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of Commerce Clause of the Constitution and the broad application of the law. Judge Sotomayor acknowledged the clause has had been broadly interpreted throughout history. However, Senator Feinstein raised concern of a narrowing enforcement of the Commerce Clause especially on environmental cases and environmental legislation.

11:17-AM-CDT-Senator Feinstein asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of balancing the executive branch's power of national security, but also respecting the roles of other branches of government. Senator Feinstein also mentioned the case of Dell v. Mukaskey. Judge Sotomayor responded back to Senator Feinstein that the courts must play a role to determine if certain national security actions passed a "constitutional muster".

11:12-AM-CDT-Senator Feinstein asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of executive power in the government. Judge Sotomayor responded back to Senator Feinstein that it is a broad question to answer, but it is important to use the powers of separation and checks and balances to determine if a President over-steps his authority.

11:08-AM-CDT-Senator Feinstein asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of how the court overrules a decision. Judge Sotomayor responded that when a court overturns a case that it should be exercised cautiously. Judge Sotomayor mentioned the role of stare decisis is applied in whether to overrule a case.

11:06-AM-CDT-Senator Feinstein asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of multiple precedents in a single issue, especially on past issues of womens health. Judge Sotomayor responded that prior precedence must be put in consideration in court decisions when considering a decision and that previous precedence must not be thrown out.

11:04-AM-CDT-Senator Feinstein tried to dismiss claims by constituents and interest organizations that believe Judge Sotomayor is an activist.

11:02-AM-CDT-Senator Feinstein expressed concerned over why Miguel Estrada kept coming up in hearings.

11:01-AM-CDT-Senator Dianne Feinstein began her round of questions towards Judge Sotomayor.

10:58-AM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor also said that she rejected attacks done towards litigant Frank Ricci in Ricci v. DeStefano, which is part of a campaign by People of the American Way.

10:56-AM-CDT-Senator Hatch also criticized Judge Sotomayor on his claim that the Second Circuit panel that Judge Sotomayor was part of did not issue an in-depth opinion of Ricci v. DeStefano.

10:53-AM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor also issued criticism of the Supreme Court's ruling of Ricci v. DeStefano as Sotomayor said that the Supreme Court should of have allowed the Second Circuit to re-hear the case because of what Judge Sotomayor claimed was a new standard written by the nation's highest court.

10:50-AM-CDT-In response to Senator Hatch, Judge Sotomayor said that when she reivewed the case in Ricci v. DeStefano in the Second Circuit that the ruling was based on established federal laws and past precedence in three previous Second Circuit cases.

10:46-AM-CDT-Senator Hatch moved his questioning into Ricci v. DeStefano. Senator Hatch asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of disparate treatment and disparate impact.

10:40-AM-CDT-Senator Hatch asked more questions on the Second Amendment but this time on martial-arts related weapons. Judge Sotomayor defended the privileges and immunities clause in the Fourteenth Amendment in her response towards banning non-gun like weapons at the local level.

10:35-AM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor furthered her defense on her handling Sanchez v. New York. Judge Sotomayor mentioned that her use of stare decisis was key in the applying precedence in her ruling and similar rulings in gun cases. Judge Sotomayor also mentioned a recent Seventh Circuit gun ruling written by Frank Easterbrook.

10:32-AM-CDT-Senator Hatch asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of gun rights, especially District of Columbia v. Heller and Sanchez v. New York, a case involving New York City's ban on handguns. Judge Sotomayor defended her footnote to the case to support New York City's ban on past precedence on past precedence, especially on Justice Scalia's assertion that the state level rights is not incorporated in the Second Amendment.

10:30-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy reconvened the hearing. Senator Orrin Hatch took the floor.

10:10-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy ordered the hearings in brief recess.

10:05-AM-CDT-Vice Chairman Kohl asked about anti-trust law especially on the Sherman Antitrust Act. Judge Sotomayor mentioned on her role in a prominent case involving her role with major credit card companies in the Second Circuit.

10:02-AM-CDT-Vice Chairman Kohl asked whether there should be term limits at all levels of the federal judiciary. Judge Sotomayor responded that the principle of judges appointed for life on terms of proper decorum and behavior adds wisdom and value to the judiciary.

9:57-AM-CDT-Vice Chairman Kohl talked about cameras in the court, especially concerning the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge Sotomayor would consider advocating for having televised hearings of the Supreme Court.

9:53-AM-CDT-Vice Chairman Kohl talked about Kelo v. New London. Senator Kohl asked how Judge Sotomayor would rule in a similar case and Judge Sotomayor responded that it would be OK for the government to use eminent domain in economically blighted areas.

9:51-AM-CDT-Vice Chairman Kohl asked if whether the Supreme Court of the United States had a proper role in Bush v. Gore. Judge Sotomayor said that the court's decision in Bush v. Gore shown example of how three branches of government work in relation to new laws being created after the decision.

9:47-AM-CDT-Vice Chairman Kohl asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of affirmative action. Judge Sotomayor has acknowledged that the courts must play a role on the issue of affirmative action, but in a role that it is not narrowly applied.

9:43-AM-CDT-Vice Chairman Kohl asked Judge Sotomayor on the proper application of the applying the facts of law.

9:39-AM-CDT-Vice Chairman Herb Kohl began his questioning of Judge Sotomayor.

9:37-AM-CDT-Senator Sessions finished questioning.

9:36-AM-CDT-When defending the small amount of legal opinions written in the Ricci v. DeStefano case in the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor said that the Second Circuit went on precedence in the Seventh Circuit and in other circuits. Judge Sotomayor also mentioned that the Supreme Court had the proper authority to examine the case in depth.

9:32-AM-CDT-Ranking member Sessions mentioned the objections of fellow Second Circuit judge Jose Cabranes towards Ricci v. DeStefano especially with Judge Cabranes wanting a re-hearing in the Second Circuit. According to Senator Sessions, Judge Carbanes said that the Ricci case was most important discrimination case in 20 years in the Second Circuit.

9:27-AM-CDT-Ranking member Sessions briefly accused Chairman Leahy of not stating the facts correctly in Ricci v. DeStefano.

9:23-AM-CDT-Ranking member Sessions asked Judge Sotomayor on Ricci v. DeStefano. When asked on her opinion on the case, that the City of New Haven made the right decision to throw the tests out on fear of violating Title VII. Judge Sotomayor mentioned that the Supreme Court of the United States held the City of New Haven to a different status. Also, Judge Sotomayor mentioned a similar decision written by fellow Seventh Circuit judge Richard Posner.

9:21-AM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor defended her remarks on how her philosophy impacts her ability to judge properly.

9:14-AM-CDT-Ranking member Sessions asked Judge Sotomayor on the issue of fairness and impartiality. Senator Sessions raised issues over remarks that Judge Sotomayor made in which personal views could affect the outcome of impartiality.

9:10-AM-CDT-Ranking member Sessions asked Judge Sotomayor on prejudices in decision making. Judge Sotomayor said that judges "are not robots when making decisions." Judges must examine their feelings when making their decisions. Judge Sotomayor said that some cases must allow judges to use life experiences.

9:07-AM-CDT-Ranking member Sessions asked Judge Sotomayor on a comment that Judge Sotomayor said at Duke Law: "that the court of appeals is where the policy is made." Judge Sotomayor responded more on the district court and circuit court judicial differences. District courts, according to Judge Sotomayor, hold facts, while appeals judges determine precedence in situations which create policy ramifications.

9:02-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy gave the floor to ranking member Jeff Sessions.

9:00-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy mentioned Judge Sotomayor on United States v. Giradono.

8:56-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy asked Judge Sotomayor on the Second Amendment and in relation to the states. Sotomayor acknowledged that the Heller v. District of Columbia decision is considered to be a narrow. Also, Judge Sotomayor said that in a footnote in the Heller case written by Justice Antonin Scalia that the rights of the Second Amendment is not fully incorporated at the state level.

8:56-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy asked Judge Sotomayor on District of Columbia v. Heller. Judge Sotomayor said that the Second Amendment is a personal decision.

8:52-AM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor responded by "I was trying to inspire them (students, minorities) would enrich the legal system." "The context of the words I spoke created a misunderstanding." "I do not believe any racial, gender, or ethnic group has an advantage in legal judgment."

Judge Sotomayor also elaborated on the judicial philosophy of Sandra Day O'Connor.

8:50-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy asked Judge Sotomayor on her "wise latina" remark.

8:46-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy asked Judge Sotomayor on Ricci v. DeStefano. Judge Sotomayor responded on the Supreme Court's ruling saying that the Supreme Court created a new standard on the basis that the Second Circuit already established precedence in cases in previous decades.

8:42-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy made a brief mention of Ricci v. DeStefano.

8:38-AM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor also talked about a case during her days with the New York County District Attorney's office. Judge Sotomayor elaborated about her role as a prosecutor in the "tarzan murder case." It was because of the complexity of how the person who used acrobatic feats to commit the crime that gave Sotomayor her first experience of dealing with complex cases.

8:36 AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy asked on Sotomayor's experience as a prosecutor as how it shaped her judicial philosophy. Judge Sotomayor said that it is the process of learning facts and applying the law as it exists. Judge Sotomayor said that this has helped her in her judicial philosophy at both the district and appeals levels.

8:33-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy asked on Sotomayor's qualities as a judge with her experience. Judge Sotomayor responds that "the process of judging comes the process of keeping an open mind...understanding what the parties are arguing, the facts as are they are proven...a decision of the law of what the facts are."

8:30-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy has gaveled in the meeting to begin.

8:00-AM-CDT-The questioning will start with Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy, then ranking member Jeff Sessions, then the questioning will alternate between Republicans and Democrats.

7:43-AM-CDT-Welcome to Day 2 of Judgepedia's gavel to gavel coverage of the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings. There are video highlights on the bottom of the page from yesterday's hearings.

Scheduled on the agenda today is question and answer sessions with all 19 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Each senator will get thirty minutes to ask questions to Judge Sotomayor in which the judge will respond back in turn.

July 13, 2009

All times listed are Central Daylight Time unless otherwise noted

The first meetings will happen on July 13th at 10:00 AM-EDT/7:00 AM-PDT. There will be a live web-cast without commercial interruption on the Senate Judiciary Committee website.

2:02-PM-CDT-Day 1 of the confirmation hearings end. Join Judgepedia tomorrow at 9:30 AM-EDT/6:30 AM-PDT for Day 2 gavel to gavel coverage.

2:00-PM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor talked about her judicial philosophy: "My philosophy is simple. It is based on fidelity that a judge must apply the law, not make it."

1:59-PM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor talked about her corporate litigation and prosecution experience.

1:58-PM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor first talked about her family's story in the first part of her introductory statement.

1:54-PM-CDT-Judge Sotomayor had the floor for the first time today as she makes her first statement.

1:53-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy administered the oath to Judge Sotomayor.

1:49-PM-CDT-Senator Gillibrand emphasized the historical significance of Sotomayor being the third woman nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States.

1:45-PM-CDT-Senator Schumer emphasized Judge Sotomayor's life story and the historical significance of her nomination.

1:40-PM-CDT-Senators Gillibrand and Schumer of New York made their testimonials.

1:31-PM-CDT-Democratic committee member Al Franken from Minnesota gave his opening statement. This was Senator Franken's first major meeting after being sworn in to the Senate five days before the hearing.

1:21-PM-CDT-Democratic committee member Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania gave his opening statement. This was Senator Specter's first confirmation hearing as a Democrat since switching parties in early 2009.

1:12-PM-CDT-Democratic committee member Ted Kaufman from Delaware gave his opening statement. During his statement Senator Kaufman criticized the Supreme Court for having "pro-business" bias in regards to the current economic crisis.

1:01-PM-CDT-Democratic committee member Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota gave her opening statement. Senator Klobuchar emphasized her experience as a prosecutor during her statement.

1:00-PM-CDT-Chairman Leahy reconvened the committee hearing.

11:38-AM-CDT-Chairman Leahy recessed the committee for lunch.

11:32-AM-CDT-Another protester was removed and arrested by US Capitol police, which briefly interrupted Senator Durbin's statement.

11:30-AM-CDT-Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic member Dick Durbin of Illinois gave his opening statement. Senator Durbin, who was supposed to give his statement earlier, was delayed by meetings with other commitments to other senate committees.

11:20-AM-CDT-Republican Senate Judiciary Committee member Tom Coburn of Oklahoma gave his opening statement. Senator Coburn expressed concern if Judge Sotomayor can fully uphold the oath administered to a justice of the Supreme Court.

11:10-AM-CDT-Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island gave his opening statement.

11:01-AM-CDT-Senator John Cornyn of Texas gave his opening statement.

11:00-AM-CDT-The meeting reconvened from recess. Chairman Leahy gave a light moment of humor before giving the floor to Senator John Cornyn.

10:44-AM-CDT-The meeting broke for a brief recess.

10:34-AM-CDT-Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic member Benjamin Cardin of Maryland gave his opening statement. Here is his statement on his meeting with Judge Sotomayor.

10:32-AM-CDT-Senators Patrick Leahy, Lindsey Graham, and Jeff Sessions briefly disputed the facts over the nomination of Miguel Estrada.

10:23-AM-CDT-Republican Senate Judiciary Committee member Lindsey Graham of South Carolina gave his opening statement. Graham, in the beginning of his statement, issued a short rebuttal in response to Senator Schumer's remarks.

10:16-AM-CDT-Senator Chuck Schumer gave a shortened opening statement of five minutes reserving the rest of his allotted time to give his testimonial along with New York US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Senator Schumer praised Sotomayor but expressed criticism towards Chief Justice John Roberts and his judicial philosophy.

10:08-AM-CDT-Republican Senate Judiciary Committee member Jon Kyl of Arizona gave his opening statement. CLICK HERE for Senator Kyl's prepared remarks.

10:00-AM-CDT-Long-time Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic member Russ Feingold of Wisconsin gave his opening statement.

9:51-AM-CDT-Long-time Senate Judiciary Committee Republican member Chuck Grassley of Iowa gave his opening statement. Senator Grassley expressed concern over Judge Sotomayor's public statements.

9:44-AM-CDT-A protester shouted out something against Judge Sotomayor; US Capitol Police removed and arrested the protester.

9:42-AM-CDT-Long-time Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic member Dianne Feinstein of California gave her opening statement. During her speech, Senator Feinstien praised Judge Sotomayor in her past experiences in getting to the Supreme Court nomination. Senator Feinstien was briefly interrupted by a protester during her statement.

9:32-AM-CDT-Long-time Senate Judiciary Committee Republican member Orrin Hatch of Utah gave his opening statement.

9:24-AM-CDT-Vice Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Herb Kohl of Wisconsin gave his ten minute opening statement. Vice Chairman Kohl issued praise, but tempered enthusiasm for Judge Sotomayor. CLICK HERE for Senator Kohl's prepared remarks.

9:12-AM-CDT-Ranking member Jeff Sessions of Alabama gave his opening statement as the minority leader of the committee.

9:05-AM-CDT-Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont gave his ten-minute opening statement. CLICK HERE for Chairman Lehay's opening remarks.

9:02-AM CDT-Judge Sotomayor, in the tradition of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced her family members to the committee.

9:00-AM CDT-Judge Sotomayor took her seat in the meeting room. Chairman Leahy brought the meeting into order.

8:45-AM CDT-The gavel will sound to begin the meeting in fifteen minutes. Judge Sotomayor has already arrived in the hearing room at the Hart Senate Office building.

8:00-AM CDT-Welcome to Judgepedia's live coverage of Day 1 of the Sotomayor Confirmation Hearings.

Scheduled on the agenda for the first day of confirmation hearings is opening statements from all 19 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. All 19 senators who serve on the committee will be granted a 10 minute opening statement. Then there will be testimonials from New York junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senate Judiciary Committee member and senior Senator Chuck Schumer. These are the senators that represent Sotomayor's home state of New York.[1]

Then Chairman Patrick Lehay will officially swear-in Judge Sotomayor before giving the floor to her as the first day is scheduled for personal introductions.[1]

The information provided by the Senate Judiciary Committee is subject to change.

External links

References