tv FOX News Sotomayor FOX News July 12, 2009 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT
down gangsters, hunted down terrorists from coast to coast, it started 101 years ago today. and now, stay tuned, bret baier and megan kelly, a special from and megan kelly, a special from d.c. captioned by closed captioning services, inc. . >> it's one of the most powerful positions in america. >> we're not talking about tiddly winks, this is serious business. >> a nominee who could remake the law. >> i know this is on tape, i shouldn't say this. >> a president who some say is rewriting the rules. >> i view that quality of empathy as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions a decisions. >> i think it's a threat to our system and i oppose it. >> and the battle for the future of the court. fox news reporting. judging sotomayor, from washington, bret baier and megan kelly. >> welcome to the nation's capital, megan, it's great to have you here.
>> great to be here and we got lucky with the weather tonight, bret. >> the setting for tomorrow's senate confirmation hearings for supreme court nominee sonia sotomayor. >> over the last century, the supreme court has become an enormous force for political and social change here in america. there's barely an aspect of our lives that has not been affected by its decisions. >> and with the court that now regularly splits 5-4, a single judge can can profoundly affect the future of our nation, that's why supreme court nominations have become such important events, but even against that back drop the hearings tomorrow could be extraordinary. >> they could, sonia sotomayor is the very first latina nominated for the high court is a big deal. this is more than that, she has expressed controversial views on the role of judges and so has president obama, so does this nomination if it sails through, mark the beginning of a new direction for the american judiciary? >> we start here on capitol
hill. the senate judiciary committee will hold the hearings a short walk from the us capital and the u.s. supreme court in the haear hart senate office building room 216. the central room is the location, the room which has been used numerous times for proceedings like this. fox news chief correspondent carl cameron is on capitol hill with what we can expect this week. >> hi, carl. >> hi, judge sotomayor will be center stage all week, her every symbol scrutinized and mondays are set aside for introductions and opening statements and there are 19 members of the senate judiciary committee. it will be a very full day of little more than speech laboring making. here is a look along party lines. there are 12 democrats in the majority led by vermont chairman patrick leahy and tuesday is when the question and answer session begins, 30 minutes per senator and they look at this as something of a celebrity moment. lots of speeches and key power players to look at on each side and of course, the chairman, pat
leahy he's been on the committee for some time and first time chairing had a court hearing. and dick der ben, number two leader, the whip and chuck schumer, a pit bull part and al franken's debut on a committee. he only made it to senator week and he will be on the committee as well and jeff sessions of alabama leading the opposition and chuck grassley of aye on the committee since 1981 and orrin hatch, going back decades and lindsey graham is a tough partisan and three others, tomko burn one of the senators in all of it and two members of the leadership, cornyn and kyle and arlen specter used to be a republican and now a democrat and sure to be entertaining as we go forward, bret and megan. >> thanks, carl, questions and controversy surfaced over this nominee's record, but what are the issues and will her record hold up? for those answers, fox news kronl shannon bream is at the
u.s. supreme court. . >> hi, this is the first time that the public hears from judge sotomayor, she will have a chance to answer critics and explain things as well. key issues we can look for. first of all, outside of the courtroom, thing she's said and written, the speech she made at duke university where she talks about appellate court, and policy is made and a string of speeches she had a sentence a wise latina may often come to a wise conclusion than a white male and the fact that the judge's background and opinion do color the way he or she sees facts and makes decisions and that the empathy that has conservatives worried that she may be a liberal activist from the bench. now, some of her decisions the ritchie decision involving the white firefighters, they got the top promotion scores on the exams they undertook and yet didn't get promoted of the city was worried that minorities did not test as well on the exams would sue the city. sotomayor decided with the of
city and the supreme court overturned her 5-4 decision. it's sure to take center stage, two of the firefighters are on the witness list, expected to testify on thursday. senators say they've got a lot of questions and they are going to give her a chance to explain exactly what she meant in these different rulings and speeches and megan, it's ago we'll all be watching for this week. >> thank you, shannon bream. thank you. now, fox news reporting goes in depth on sonia sotomayor beginning with her life story. one of the reasons she became president obama's very first pick for the high court. >> it was 1944 during world war ii when sonia sotomayor's parents migrated from puerto rico to new york, and until they got to the city. her father, a factory worker, with just a third grade education. her mother, selena arrived when she was only 17. >> she came here herself.
>> and selena's niece. >> interesting she joined the army. >> selena signed up with 200 other young girls for the army corps. >> the sotomayors married and had two children. sonia marie, and three years later her brother juan. the sotomayors lived here, this east bronx government run low income housing project. for the decades projects like these have become notorious magnets for drugs and violence and this neighborhood is no different. when the building first went up in the 1950's, it was about hope and social progress and the sotomayors remember their times horror fondly. >> everybody was excited about moving to the projects. they were brand new and shiny it was a nice place to be. >> noi we were poor because i saw the poverty, but i didn't feel it because i came from a family that loved me. >> when sonia was nine.
her father died of a heart attack. to put food on the table her mother worked six days a week at prospect hospital in the bronx. eventually getting her practical nurses license which led to a better paying job. that helped pay for sonia's private catholic elementary school. a good education was a priority for the sotomayors, senioring yo grew up with sonia. >> that was the background that she came from. in many ways, you think that it shaped who she is today. >> with sonia wasn't studying, she lost herself in books, reading mysteries and watching legal dramas on tv. >> mostly you hear of the stories, but what you don't hear was that she was a very, very big fan of perry mason. you could not visit her when perry mason was on. by the time she was ten years old, sonia knew she want today become a lawyer. she focused on her studies and became an outstanding student. she would take a major step forward when she was accepted to the prestigious cardinal
spellman high school. if she could make the grade at spellman, it would put her on an elite track. renee was a high school classmate of sonias. >> we came in and i guess we weren't very sure as freshman. it was a scary time. >> sonia entered high school in 1968, the same year martin luther king and robert f. kennedy were assassinated, american cities were engulfed in race riots and the vietnam war was raging as protests against it. >> the summer of our freshman year we went through woodstock. enas pated, kent state so we lived through very, very turbulent times. how did it affect spellman at all? >> to certain people it became more politically aware. and sonia was one of them. >> looked at her in awe, could i get where she was. >> a dean now, she was a
freshman when sonia was a senior. >> so many people gravitated to her. she seemed to know what she was doing and where she was going. >> sonia was in the national honor society, the bowling team, and the latin club. >> we had participated on a national topic and debated on everything from whether jury decisions should be based on a 12-person jury or of how education should be funded. i found her to be someone who was very thoughtful. someone who really, you know, studied the topic very well and was a force feel presenter. >> in 197 # 2, sonia graduated valedictorian of her class. >> it's funny, when the school colors were red and white, we graduated in black. she's always worn the black road. >> that's interesting, foreshadowing things to come.
>> things to come. >> on fox knauss reporting sonia sotomayor heads to the ivy league or as she called it an alien land. you could buy 300 bottles of water. or just one brita filter. ( drop plinks ) brita-- better for the environment and your wallet. dinner bell sfx: ping ping ping fancy feast elegant medleys tuscany entrées restaurant inspired dishes with long grain rice and garden greens is it love? or is it fancy feast?
>> sonia sotomayor went from a single parent family in a ean e bronx housing project to the top of her class. that accomplishment was her ticket out of poverty and set her on an intellectual journey that will play a very big role in the kind of supreme court justice she'll make. shannon bream reports. >> although she had been val valedictorian of her prestigious high school, she says she went to princeton on a full
scholarship as quote, the perfect affirmative action baby. >> my test scores were not comparable to that of my-- and there are reasons for that, there are cultural biases built into testing. >> when she arrived on campus in the fall of 1972, princeton was an alien land in her words. sergio, who followed her to princeton felt the same way. >> princeton had just recently admitted women, it wasn't until around that same era that a lot of people of color came to. the congratulatiograduates at te primarily white male and many thought that the school was changing in a drks it shouldn't be changed to. >> outside the classroom, zoson became a part after student group. according to her account her group along with chi can no
students filed, charging them with an institutional pattern of discrimination and sergio was also one of the students who leveled the anti-latino discrimination charge. >> the gist of the complaint there weren't enough faculty of color and numbers of students of color should be increased. >> confrontation was a common thing, done by virtue of the group which you belonged. >> andrew nap tan no was four years ahead of sotomayor at princeton. you couldn't make an of demand. in those days you could, you would, you did, on the front page of the prince tonion. you would be condemned if that was a conservative cause, that was the politics of the area a. >> sonia sotomayor graduated summa cum laude and earned the
highest undergraduate reward. she married her sweetheart kevin noonen and they would divorce seven years later. sotomayor says her acceptance to yale was for affirmative action because her lsat's were low. whatever the scores her intensity made an impression says former classmate and now professor steven carter. >> first in day of class you're sitting there terrified. she's waving her hands and asking some deep questions about some obscure facts in this case. quite irritated on the first day and they eventually came to like her. >> edited an article she wrote for the press tee state hood for puerto rico. >> a tricky subject she navigated well between two extreme positions to find a thoughtful and actually worka e
workable. >> according to carter, sotomayor like all yale law students would have been exposed to a concept called legal realism. >> legal realism is a term used to describe an approach to the law that began in yale the first half of the 20th century. >> before that it had been almost universally assumed that a judge's job was to skup lusly apply precedent and follow the legislature. >> legal realism places the judge at center stage. in the real world, a judge's personality, values and background are important factors when he or she decides the case and perhaps that's how it should be. >> the social forces, i think that was dominant in law schools today. >> as you will see, sotomayor had suggested she believed that skwuj's unique values do and should influence her judicial decision and that worried conservatives that question
whether sotomayor can be a supreme court justice and look at her extracurricular abbi activities. the notion that sotomayor believes the system discriminates against mierts and she's driven to buck the system and right those wrongs. for instance, again at yale, sotomayor worked with an advocacy group to push her school to hire more minorities and she also caused a fuss by lodging a formal complaint against a law firm krrecruitingn campus. she says the firm asked her inappropriate questions about affirmative actions and supporters say she had every right to challenge the institution she was attending and in any event her politics as a student were less radical than oropponents suggest. >> they were still in new haven in that time, a flavor of a community that had a lot of radical organizations going on. and there were a lot of students, interesting now, first generation of their family to go
to college and they're very serious as a rule and the theory that turned out to be true. >> and bret, as it turned out sonia sotomayor the law student who worked on behalf of racial minorities, disadvantages of downtrodden surprised classmates when she took her first job as a new york city prosecutor. >> sonia sotomayor thought twice about taking that job. a fascinating part of her story and we will have it next on fox news reporting. my two granddaughters are my life. they always ask me, grandma, take me here, grandma, take me there. but with my occasional irregularity i wasn't always up to it. until i discovered activia and everything started to change. announcer: activia is clinically proven to help regulate your digestive system
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live with roots, or get a boost? root touch-up by nice 'n easy. your right color. >> welcome back to fox news reporting judging sotomayor. in addition to being a hard working driven student at princeton and yale law school. sonia sotomayor was a member of civil rights groups which alleged discrimination on those campuses. many of her fell lo he law students were stunned with the first job she took out of school as a prosecutor under manhattan district torn robert morganthal. sotomayor herself told she had misgiving about take that go job. i talked with morganthal in his new york city office. when you first met sonia sotomayor, what was your first impression? >> she impressed me somebody who
would understand the problems of victims and witnesses. >> nothing her inclination to speak up for minorities, were you surprised she chose to become a prosecutor rather than a public defender tlfrjtss' a lot more discretion in prosecutor than defense lawyer. you have the discretion to do what you think it right. somebody is arrested, you think it's a bad arrest, you don't prosecute them. >> indeed sotomayor says she was reluctant to prosecute what she called low grade crimes as she felt they could be quote, a product of the environment and of poverty. when it came to violent crime, however, she had no such hesitation, as she noted in a 1983 interview with the new york times, quote, the worst victims of crimes are not general owe site ie white folks, but minorities themselves. nevertheless, her focus on race and ethnicity as an issue makes some conservatives uneasy. >> criticizing hispanic nominee
the same waugh you would krut size a white nominee. >> curt levy the director of committee for justice. tries to put conservative justices on the bench. >> it's strange the only way see could justify being a prosecutor to point out that minorities were victims of crime, too, again, you would hope that a prosecutor would look at the victims of crime and not care about their color. >> in 1980, sotomayor joined the board of the puerto rican legal defense and education fund. in this week's hearings, conservatives will likely paint the group as far left and question sotomayor's 12-year association with it. >> is that normal for ada's to be politically active? >> i was one of the founders of the puerto rican legal defense fund, we encouraged people to get involved in community activities, go to school and so on. >> in 1984, the year sotomayor left the da's office, the group
sued the n.y.p.d. claiming the police promotion exam was biased against latinos and african-americans. the city settled the case, adding minorities who failed the test to the promotion list, but white officers with the same low scores were not given promotions. the white officers sued, but did not prevail in a case that went all the way up to the supreme court. meanwhile, sotomayor took a job at a private law firm and continued to make political connections. in 1991 at the urging of new york democratic senator daniel patrick moynihan, president george h.w. bush, appointed sotomayor judge on the u.s. district court. sotomayor briefly stepped into the national spotlight in 1995 when she issued an injunction that ended in 232 day long major league baseball strike. in 1997, president bill clinton elevated her to the much more powerful u.s. court of appeals. since then, she has written hundreds of opinions which most
legal analyst agree show judicial restraint, bow to precedent and are largely uncontroversial. not so with a number of speeches she's delivered outside her courtroom. >> on the bench her feelings are within the mainstream of american legal thinking. >> within the mainstream, but when she speaks at law schools she's decidedly pushing the envelope almost as far as it could logically or ethically be push pushed. >> in 2001 at cal-berkley sotomayor spoke to the latino level rights group stating quote i would hope that a wilatino won with the rich ners of her experiences would more often than that reach a better decision than a white male who hasn't lived that life. >> she's attributing to any perspective of any judge.
>> janet is the executive director of the national counsel of la razza, which means the race. >> if a white judge made those comments, what would la razza say about that? >> we would look for what the person had to say for himself or herself and i'm absolutely confident she will be able to explain that comment to the satisfaction of the senate. >> do you think that she can be a mainstream supreme court judge? >> i absolutely believe she can be a mainstream supreme court justice. this is someone who has created a very distinguished record working for the mainstream. >> in a 2005 speech at duke, sotomayor also ridiculed the notion that the role of the judge is simply to interpret the law. >> court of appeals is where policy is made and i know, and i know this is on tape and i should never say that, because we don't make law, i know. >> conservatives have long accused judges of legislating
from the bench, but rarely if ever hear one of those judges apparently confess to it. some of her critics on the right think at that some of her speeches at duke, berkley and elsewhere, should this disqualify her from the supreme court. at the same time some of the supporters on the left think that sotomayor just tells it like it is. either way, it is sotomayor's speeches and her activism, more than her legal rulings that seem to project most forcefully a characteristic president obama says he prides in traditional appointees, empathy. >> i few that quality of empathy, understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles as essential ly e ingredients in reaching decisions and outcomes. >> that's had a troublesome approach that should give m americans cause says from national journal magazine. >> they take a law they will apply the law equally equal
rights to the rich and to the poor and empathy line of argument, as you guess for some really do better justice to the poor than to the rich. so that's why it's troublesome, i think. >> right, a big corporation comes in in a case and if the judge is seen as empathetic, not part. big corporation, the receiver of the empathy. >> yeah. >> that's right. and sometimes the big corporation is right. >> empathy shaved into favortism has been taken by a lot of people as meaning that the finger is on the scale a little b bit. >> megan, that's the issue, would a justice sotomayor in the name of empathy, see fit to place her thumb on the scale of the justice? >> and that's exactly what the senate judiciary committee will be looking into during these confirmation hearings that begin tomorrow, hearings that in the past few decades have been plagued with controversy. that's next on fox news reporting. welcome to the now network. population 49 million.
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isolated pockets of fierce resistance to the nomination of judge sonia sotomayor. >> politics is confirm-- confrontation. >> larry is the director of gun owners ever america and democrats have recognized the stakes and have been willing to do whatever they can to keep conservatives off the bench. >> democrats have been at the term, saying anything in their minds stopping a person being confirmed. >> robert bourke, 's america, the land with women in back alley abortions and-- >> that was in 1987. president reagan nominated the conservative judge robert bourke and in 45 minutes senator ted kennedy launched a blistering attack on the floor of the senate. >> rogue police could break down doors in midnight raids and school children could not be taught about evolution. >> what was your reaction when ted kennedy made this speech? >> well, i thought that it was a
real break from the previous 200 year history of our country on how you handle judges. >> iowa senator charles grassley, a republican, has served on the senate judiciary committee since 1981. >> for the first 25 years you were cord about kwaqualificatio not worried so much about their judicial philosophy as long as they were dispassion nate. >> democrats and allies, puerto rican education fund with sonia sotomayor still on its board, the constitutional protections for long other things abortion. they were right. stewart taylor of national journal. >> i spoke to him recently. roe versus wade? of course. >> as heated as the bourke hearings got. the clarence thomas hearings were hotter. thomas an african-american, yale graduate and appeals court judge was nominated by george h.w.
bush. he seemed to be confirmed unless 11th hour. >> pornographic films and-- >> she made her charges and war fath fare. >> from my standpoint as a black american, it's a high-tech lynching for us to be black. >> ultimately thomas was confirmed. talk a little how that forever altered the confirmation process. >> it was a continuation what started with bourke, but 90% of the african-americans vote democr democrat, that i expected every one of them to welcome an african-american to the supreme court, but here again, political considerations won out. >> conservative activist complained that despite the rules of engagement set by democrats during the the bourke and thomas hearings, president clinton nominated ruth bader ginsburg and steven briar,
republican senators hardly put up a fight. >> to be fair, briar was a fairly moderate liberal, maybe who shouldn't have been vigorously opposed, but justice ginsburg, general counsel of the a.c.l.u. a statement saying that bigamy and prostitution came under the right o of privacy and prisons should be co-ed. >> roles were reversed when in 2005, george w. bush nominated john roberts to the high court. >> he will strictly apply the constitutional laws, not legislate from the bench. >> a staunch conservative served in two republican administrations, it was thought that he was chosen in part because he had no paper trail, making him a bourke proof candidate. >> i think the democrats just sort of, well, we can't fight this guy. we don't have the votes to stop him and they didn't try hard. >> one of the relatively small number of democrats who voted against him was a freshman
senator from illinois named barack obama. in explaining his vote, senator obama said that even though roberts was quote, qualified to sit on the highest court in the land. he would cast a no vote because roberts lacked empathy. >> one core concern, one broader perspective on how the world works and the depth and breadth of one's empathy. >> after conservatives terry peed doed bush's next nominee, harriet miers for lack of credentials he picked samuel alito, a favorite of the right who had a long paper trail on court of appeals. in the end senate democrats could not keep alito off the court when they tried and while some portrayed alito as racially insensitive, graham came to his defense and a cheery alito-- >> are you a closet bigot? >> aim note any kind of a bigot. >> no, sir, you're not, judge alito, iemz you had to go
through this. iemz your family has been, had to sit here and listen to this. >> yale law professor steven carter. >> and we're hoping and praying, seriously those grown up enough whatever charts may be brought, whatever opponents may want to stand up and say they'll be done with some decorum. >> and it's an uncomfortable vote, i'm not advocating you get a witness like anita hill and lie through her teeth about clarence thomas, but i'm iemz judge sotomayor, but you have not answered my question, this is serious business for the sense of liberty and if the republicans articulated that concern, then, we could see sotomayor to them. >> senate judiciary committee chairman patrick leahy a democrat and will take the lead in tomorrow's hearings, tonight, carl cameron puts them in the
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>> you've heard sonia sotomayor's personal story along with controversial things she said about judging and about race. but as a judge, she's participated in thousands of legal cases and written hundreds of opinions. a handful of those opinions will receive intense focus at the hearings. here again, carl cameron. >> the opinion likely to get the most attention is just a paragraph long and unsigned. the case, ritchie versus destefano involves firefighters in new haven, connecticut took a written exam. when no african-americans qualified for immediate promotion, the city threw out the test. one latino and seven firefighters who qualified sued claiming discrimination, it was a tough, even explosive issue. the three-judge panel including sotomayor needed less than a
page to say that the city had acted legally. in late june the supreme court overturned the decision 5-4. >> all judges their opinion was not sound. five of them said based on the evidence not only should it not go back to further trial, but the firefighters won already. >> alabama senator is the ranking republican on the judiciary committee says that to him the the brevity of the ritchie opinion brings important questions about judge sonia sotomayor. >> was she worried about writing an opinion and that dealt seriously with the constitutional questions and legal questions involved and why she didn't do that? and why it was such a small circumspect opinion, odd really in a lot of ways. a question ask about that. >> another issue sotomayor's stance on the right to bear arms. the supreme court recently gave gun rights advocates a huge win
when it ruled that the second amendment prevented the federal government from banning individuals from owning guns, but they stopped short of saying if states can do so. later the second circuit addressed that issue with sotomayor on the three-judge panel, it handed another unsigned ruling the second amendment does not apply to the states, a blow to gun rights. the issue will likely come up before the supreme court and the question is, which way sotomayor will vote. >> this is had a huge issue, in the second amendment, and judge sotomayor held recently, does not apply to the states. the second amendment, the right to keep and bear arms is eviscerated, so, her record on it is troubling. >> another sotomayor opinion sure to be discussed is bid den versus village of port chester, a property rights case, in it, the court skieded between the land owner, when he refused to make a deal the town condemned
his property and had it taken over. >> judge sonia sotomayor has had a remarkable kraer trajectory. >> what may attract more attention than the actual opinions are all the things she said off the bench. >> she herself suggested being a wise latina her ruling might be better than a middle aged white guy from vermont. >> senator patrick leahy. >> i asked her about that and she said emphatically, ultimately and completely, the law is what controls. >> but since college race has permeated her life, whether it was through her activism, true with the puerto rican education-- >> i would say if any way race has per vaded your wife as a white man such as race permeates my life as part of the state in the country.
does that mean that i'm going to be objectively or subjectively against african-americans or hispanics or asians because i come from a state that is the whitest state in the nation? i really doubt it. >> senator sessions, however, sees a more serious issue, one that goes to the very notion of the rule of law. >> this idea well, you can let your personal views and politics influence how you render a decision in the case is antithetical to the american law and worried that the standards in the case that he is a part of this activist judicial idea that that's part of his philosophy and a lot more nominations coming down the pipe that favor this kind of approach to law. i think it's a threat to our system and i oppose it. >> senator leahy thinks that justice sotomayor may surprise the right pleasantly. >> i think a lot more conservative than a lot of people think. >> why?
>> i get that feeling, i could be wrong. >> there was even talk that sotomayor might even be less than rock solid on the very supreme court ruling the left arguably wants to preserve most. row vrs wade. >> did you talk to her about re v wade? >> no, should she be quizzed. >> she will be asked. >> how conscious are your republican colleagues with a political backlash if they play too much hard ball with judge sotomayor. come on, you talk to them every day. >> i-- you're grinning ear to ear. >> i'd rather be me than them. >> have you ever seen a lady so happy? well, the scene is set, but there are many unanswered questions, like how can judge sotomayor explain away her views on race and the role it plays in judging? we'll tackle that and more with our panel next on fox news reporting. (announcer) the same rapid response you expect
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and syndicated columnist, charles krauthammer, and anchors with the panel. >> never been on the set before, bret. >> i like it. >> making history of our own tonight. >> clearly one of the first questions in the hearings to judge sotomayor is going to be about a certain quote, part of the speech she gave back in 2001, and she's delivered it at least a half dozen other times, some have called it a 32 word issue for her, quote, i would hope that a wise latina woman with the richners of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life. question to the panel, how do you expect her to explain this tomorrow and will that answer really be a barometer for how these hearings go, charles? >> well, i think it's going to be the toughest issue for her because she used the word better. she's going to try to explain it she was simply talking about how her rich experience, her ethnic
past, the poverty of her childhood enriches her life and she has a better understanding of the circumstances. but she used the word better and there's no explaining that away, it means a superiority and it is a reflection of the identity politics of liberals and democrats in which there is sort of racial groups are endowed with attributes of wisdom and also spoils system that are not according to white male. now, that's going to be hard to explain. i think she will fudge it and successfully do so, but the fact that it was not off the cuff, it was not a random statement as you said it was said over and over again in her core belief. >> i think it's true that it was probably her belief and maybe still is it because she's recently said it, endemic of
something you see in liberal politics and i'm a liberal and she's almost a victim of her generation, i feel like, of her time, a common way of thinking and i think that people of my generation maybe have gotten away from it. so it's even offensive for people like me to hear things like that and people of her generati generation don't think so. i think charles is right, she's going to fudge it, i misspoke, i meant to say we all gain more experience, look at clarence thomas in his hearings he talks about his upbringing, the poverty, with alito, discussed his blue collar background and how that forms it, and we are all a product of those experiences and ultimately, you have to look at my record and that's what i would tell her to do. please just look at my record and an analysis of cases dealing with discrimination cases, it was found that she and the panel out of 96 cases, they rejected the claim of discrimination and 78, 78 or so.
and so her decision, just redirected her rulings, i think that will work better for her. >> juan? >> well, you know what to my mind when i heard the statement i thought it was a racial statement, if not a racist statement. >> you thought it was racist? >> i did. and i think that you can't go around making statements like that, but now, as you think back when that statement was discovered and publicized by republican critics, president obama felt the need to come out and respond and issue a statement in which he basically said that judge sotomayor maybe wishes she had put her words together in a better fashion, but that this was not an expression of who she really was and i think the reason he did, and the reason the white house responded was they saw the explosive possibility that her critics would use this against her. but six times or so putting it in-- >> they didn't know at that point. they just knew the one time at duke university. let me just say that i do think that someone who grew up in her
experience, given the fact that she would only be the third woman on the court and i guess, she would be the third minority person ever to sit on that court after thurgood marshal and clarence thomas, that she would bring something different than the white males and even the white females who have been exclusive to that body, the supreme court of the united states. now, if she brings a different perspective, if she in fact brings her experience if in fact benefits the people of the united states, i think it has benefitted the danger would be that she somehow thinks, i think charles, that charles and kristen say that somehow she's endowed, maybe a better superior way than white people. that's a racist statement. i think she's qualified and all, but you can't get away with that. >> and couldn't be greater than the sum total of my experiences, she's acknowledged she needs to look beyond this acknowledging other places she needs to apply
the law and she even founded and a case in favor of a white bigot and-- >> and managed to get her to step away from the speeches in some way, shape or form, that's what, a small victory for the g.o.p. in this confirmation hearing? >> but once she's on the court she will act in accordance with her beliefs and she will be patrolled. in her cases, she obviously can't act on this sense of superiority because american law cherishes equality and is against discrimination and is against the idea of being superior which she spoke about. so in her cases she's constrained, but when she speaks in a speech she's speaking out of the heart and that's what you're learning she believes deep down. >> charles, if she acts in court the way that suggests that she is constrained by president, isn't that all we're concerned about? >> once you're on the supreme court, a tenured position for life. you have no other aspirations, you're untethered and then you can really act on what you
believe. >> and the thing, juan and kirsten, you talk about how she's going to play this up, i had rich experiences and different experiences as a minority and a woman coming into the bench, but that's not what she said. she said better. she said a wise latina judge will come to a better conclusion than a white male judge and is there any question that if sam alito had said that about a latina going into his confirmation hearing, there is no way he would have-- >> and white people have a different standard on race, whites are majority, dominated the united states in terms of racial politics and identity politics, and we don't call it identity politics wihen dealing with whites and more whites on the supreme court. >> didn't is discrimination either way? >> i would agree with you 100%, she she's now said and white house has said she wishes she could say that in a better way and that her spoorps brings added value to her ability to sit as a judge. >> and the timing of this, if
this had not come out early, and been sort of absorbed and massaged, it would sink her. if it came out in the middle of the hearings all of a sudden, somebody had discovered, this spe speak six times, it would be devastated. >> and what about, she's got another issue, two things, she's got this association with the puerto rican legal defense and education fund which some have described as a hispanic a.c.l.u. all sorts of cause, injecting race into promotion decisions, against the death penalty, it's a liberal group and she was on the board for 12 years, how does that play into tomorrow and do they ask her about it? is this the one thing she should get asked about, but won't and if not, then what is? >> to me this is an idea this is an extremist organization and i don't see it that way and nor do i see the a.c.l.u. as being an extremist organization and they oppose the death penalty and for affirmative actionen and to me, they're liberal positions and to
me this woman is a liberal person. i don't see anything wrong with it, conservatives can bring it up if they want. >> what about the questions that should be asked. >> want me to go? the one i think that they might want to ask her about is you know, she is known that she has diabetes and juvenile diabetes and it's nonthat that can actually cut off-- you can have a much shorter life span by about ten years and just ask her, does she or other doctors have any concerns about her health. >> i would go to the rissi case. >> i think we have to ask her did the supreme court make the wrong decision in over turning the ruling in the rissi case. >> i would ask her the essential ingredient, how could you believe in empathy, as you swear an oath and stand to the court say i will not respect persons rich or poor, it's a contradiction, how do you explain it? >> panel, thank you so much and
bret and i will be back tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. eastern with fox news special coverage of the sotomayor hearings. good night everybody from the nation's capital. >> we'll see you tomorrow morning. and albacore tuna, crab, salmon and ocean fish flavors. you'll never go back to your old broom again. now a song for mary... from a mr. broom. ♪ don't you want me, baby ♪ don't you want me, ohhhh new swiffer sweeper is redesigned... to clean deeper into corners. dry cloths trap and lock 50% more dirt, dust and hair than a broom... with a new dirt grabbing texture. the all new swiffer sweeper... cleans better or your money back, guaranteed. that they have cervical cancer. that's why i chose to get my daughter vaccinated. i chose to get my daughter vaccinated when her doctor
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