Transcript of Sen. Feinstein Questioning at Judge Sotomayor Confirmation Hearing

CQ Transcriptions
Tuesday, July 14, 2009; 12:34 PM

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FEINSTEIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

I'm puzzled why Mr. Estrada keeps coming up. Mr. Estrada had no judicial experience. The nominee before us has considerable judicial experience. And Mr. Estrada wouldn't answer questions presented to him.

This nominee, I think, has been very straightforward. She has not used catchy phrases. She has answered the questions directly the best she could. And to me, that gets points.

I must say that, if there's a test for judicial temperament, you pass it with an A-plus-plus. I want you to know that, because I wanted to respond, and my adrenaline was moving along. And you have just sat there, very quietly, and responded to questions that, in their very nature, are quite provocative. So I want to congratulate you about that.

Now, it was just said that all nine justices disagreed with you in the Ricci case, but I want to point out that Justice Ginsburg and three other justices stated in the dissent that the Second Circuit decision should have been affirmed. Is that correct?


FEINSTEIN: Thank you very much.

Also, a senator made a comment about the Second Circuit not being bound in the Ricci case that I wanted to follow up on, because I think what he said was not correct. You made the point that the unanimous Ricci panel was bound by Second Circuit precedent, as we've said. The senator said that you easily could have overruled that precedent by voting for the case to be heard en banc.

First, my understanding is that a majority of the Second Circuit voted not to re-hear the case. Is that correct?

SOTOMAYOR: That's correct.

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