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Sen. Specter Questioning at Judge Sotomayor Confirmation Hearing

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Thursday, July 16, 2009; 11:18 AM

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SEN. PATRICK LEAHY: Just so we'll note for the schedule, we're going to go to Senator Specter, who is a long-time member of this committee and one of the most senior members here. And I would, once Senator Specter's questions are finished, we will take a very short break. And does that work for you, Judge? I...

JUDGE SOTOMAYOR: It most certainly does.

LEAHY: OK. So...

SOTOMAYOR: Thank you.

LEAHY: Senator Specter is recognized for up to 20 minutes.

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Judge Sotomayor, you have been characterized as running a hot courtroom, asking tough questions. What we see popping out of the Supreme Court opinions from time to time, statements about pretty tough ideological battles in their conference room. Justice Scalia was quoted as saying, "The court must be living in another world. Day by day, case by case it is busy designing a Constitution for a country I do not recognize."

Referring to a woman's right to choose in Roe v. Wade, he said this, quote, "Justice O'Connor's assertion that a fundamental rule of judicial restraint requires us to avoid reconsidering Roe to not be taken seriously." Do you think it possible that, if confirmed, you will be a litigator in that conference room, take on the ideological battles which pop out from time to time from what we read in their opinions?


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