tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC July 13, 2009 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT
senators here are notocussing on hereg, in any legal cases. that they've spentd a lot of time talking about pas wrongs thatome of the oth democrats tried to block miguel estrada, th they y that republicans arehting past wars rather thanbecause they don't have enough am mu. >> let's go to msnbcustice coespondt, pete williams. in a it could be said, i guess, that the nominee has put the targets on her back. e's ma these comments of urt about being a wise latina women and th being an advantage some cases. abouthe fact that policy is made at the appellate lel.
ourse, theoricci case will come as an ise. >> i think uxd you cod have skroipted the remarks the republicans have made. they've made cle which questions ey're going to raise. her out of court remarks, her eeches, not be -- they'r correct what the telling norah. not ma of ahecases set ankly ll be tomorrow. no in terms of long she'll good, chris, we'll be watchingthat. it doesn't look like her remarks wi be very long. john rob spoke only six minutes. the nominees tend to be brief. think that's the advice they get from the white ouse. the' only so mh they can do in these opening staments. in a way, they do what you woul rell. these tatements were statements, they weren't
questions, so don't respond to qution you wen't asked. that will cometomorrow. >> that's ong the lines you're speang of, tom, said observe e 80-20 le. the gentlemen, i believehat's chuck schumer and arlen specter and of crse,he brand new member of theate -- i sorr that's ted coffman ofdelaware. look atl franken. you expect hel come o with a memorable statement or be very cautious today? i think he'll be very cautious. >> what do you make of n-lawyers on this committee? i noticed when there was a big issue the woman was 92 whe di
feinstein and barbara boxer were elected,he sense we needed women that committeeft what happed with anita hill. that would surprise peoplehat there e aot ofnon-lawyers on that committee. >> but there is a fair amountof legal experience, too. not just in urtroom law,ut in prosutions and in being judges >> her go, pete williams, our exrt, and norah o'donnell who's in the room above the nominee. after four more members get to speak, she wil get to speak. he's pat leahy. >> we ca get ba and, in der in the room.
and judge, good to have you bac here as recall, we left at senato klobuchar, you're next and i'll yield to senator klobuchar. >> thaou very much, mr. chair. welcome back, judge. it's good to see you again. i enjoye our conveation and what i most remembered out that is that you confeed th you once brought winter parka to mnesotan june. i will not hold that against you this week. i know you have many friends and family ere, but it was really an honor for me to meet your mom. when president obama fst announced your nomination, i love t story about how your mo saved all her money to buy you and your brotr the first set of ecyclopedias in the ighborhood. itreminded meof when my mom bought us sig cloe paid
areas. to me, they were the window of thworld. from the time you were 9 years old,your mom raised you and your brother o her ow she struggled touy those on her nue's salaryt she did itecse she believed deeply in the value of education. you wenton to be to in our class andgo to law hool. after that, you became a local prosecutor. most of my questions during this heing wi be about opinions u've authored and wrk that you've done in the criminal area. believe having judges with real world, fnt line experience as prosecutors is a goodthing. when i tnk about theinspirin journey of your life, i'm reminded of other supre court justices who came fom challenges circumstances. there's juste o'connor who live nd a ranch in arizonaith
no running water or electricity. sh lrned how to mend fence ride horses, brand cattle, shoot rifle and even drive a truck all before she was 13 year old. i also think about stice marshall, e great grandson of slav. his mother was a teacher while his father was a waiter bore becoming steward. he waited tables to put himself through w school and his mom pawned heredding ring to get the down payment to sen h to howard university heren washington. then there's justic blackman. was able to attend harvard college only becaus at e last minute, the harvard club of minnesotgot him ascholarship and then he went on to harvard wherhe worked as a tutorand janitor. his family was ner able to
scrape up enough ney to pring him back to minnesota for christmas. eaf these grew up in challenges circumstances. no one can doubt their life experiences shaped theirork thid on the supreme court. this should be unremarkableand in fact, is completely appropriate. afr all,ur own committee members demonstrate the value. for instanc at the same tim senator whitehouse was growing up in saigon, i was working as a carop in minnesota. ile senator hat is a fame gosp music sg writer, senatoahy is such a devoted fan of the grateful ad that he ce had a problem taking a call from the president of the united states because the chairman was
on stage with the grateful dd. we've been tremendously blessed with theft of having members with different backgrounds and experices. so when one of my colleagues questioned whetr you, judge, would be a justice for all of us or just for some of us, i uldn't help but remember something hubert humphrey sd. he said amera is richer for all the different strands for whicits woven. along those lines, judge, you are only the thirdoman in history to come before this commite as a supreme court nominee d yu can see, there e currently only two women on this ommittee. senator feinstein and myself. so i think it' worth remembering that when justice o'connor graduated from law school, t only offers s get from law firms were for secretary ositions. she saw her accomishments
redud to one question. can she type. justiceginsburg was only onef ni women in class. one professor demanded she justify why she dese vd a se that culd have gone to a man. both persevered and prevaile their merritts triumphedver those who soht to deny them opportunies. the woman helpe blaze a trail and although ur record stands on its own, you also st on thr shoulders. another woman with an opportunity to be a justice r all of us. and as justice ginsburg recent comments regardg the strip search of a13-year-old gil, being a justice for all of us
may mean bnging some real world experience . as weonsider your nomination, we know that y are more than the sum of your experiences, still, you bri one of the most wide-rging resumes. civillitigator, trial judge, apllate judge. straight out of law school, u worked as a prosecutor in the manhattan da's office. when you're a prosecutor, the law ceaseto be an abstract subjt. it's real and has an impa on real people's lives. whetr its victims and their families or the neighborhood in which you live. you never forget the big and difficult cases. in your se, the serial-rglar murder. in my case, it was an
11-year-old girl shot by stray gang fi asshe sat at her kitcn table doing her homework. as a ecutor,ou dot just have to know thelaw, you have to know people. so judge, i'm interested in talkg to youore about what you've learned from thatob and ho it shaped your legal career. i'm also interested toearn about your ewon criminal law issues and sentencg law in policy. i'd like to kow crimin cases as well as civilcases, how you would balance the text of atutes and constion. it seems to be i some cases that you have a keen unrstanding of the re world implications. i get concerned those experiences are missing in judicial decisio making, especially when iook at the cent supreme court case at
which the clause included cme lab rkers. i agr with theour justices that the ruling has vast potentl -- againsthe misuse of scienfic evidence. your old boss called yo a fearless and effective prosutor. thiss how put itnce inan interview. we want people with good judgment because a lot of the jobs of a prosecur the making decions. i also want to see someig of humility in anybody that i hire. we're givingoung lawyers a lot of power ande want to make sure they're going to use that power th good sens and thout arrogance. these are among thvery qualities looking for. i lking for person with good judgmt, someone with intellectual curiosity and independent, but her decision affect real people. with that, the second essential quality. humility.
i'm looking a justice who appreciated t awesome responsibility she will be given if confirmed. on who respects the different roles constitution provides for each branch of govnment. finally, a good prosecut knows that her job is to enrce the law without fear or favor. likewise, must interpret the law without fear o favor and i believe yo background, including your undstanding of front lilaw enforceme, will help you remember thathe cases you hear involve realeople with real probls looking for real remedi. with excellent justice and excellent dgment and a sense of humility, i believe you ca be a justice for allf . thank you ry much. >> thank you, senator klobuchar. next, senator coffman.
>> welcome, jge sotomay and welcome to your family and friends and congratulations on your nomination and to yr parents. we are begni, now beginnin the d of an extraordinarily important process to confirm a supreme court justice of the united states. short having to go to war, the obligations to adve and consent onupreme court nomies is probably our most important responsibility. preme courtustices serve for life and once the sene confirms, shis likely to be afcting the law on americ lives much longethan many o is sats who are here to confirm her. the pcess forhe nomination began after justice suitor announced intent to resign and present obama consulted with membs of both pties.
he has continued since then, with debate among analysts, both in the jucial press and blogsphere. this process is extremely valuable. onof the great benefits of a free society is ourability to delve deeply into a public record. we've seen issues, lirally everyone can help dissect and dete. another less public rt of the procs, judge, you had the nderful experience of meeti th 90 senators. almo 90% of the senate. these meetings are also useful. i lened a great dealrom my meeting and i'monfident my colleagues as well. for me, the critical criteria
for judging a nominee are the following. a firstrate intellect. significant experience. unquestioned integrity. absolute commitment the rule of law. being fair and open minded. the abily to preciate the impact of court decions. based on whate've learned so r, your truly an impressive nominee. i'nfident this will give this committee and the rest of the senate the information we need to complete our duty. as senators, i believe we each owe you a decion based on your rerd. thatdecisi could not turn on empty de words or in charges of guilt by assoatn. instead, we should focus on your record and responses and determine if you have the qualities tt allowou to well
serve l americans and the rule of law on our nation's highest you rise from humble beginnings to extraordinary academic lal achievent is an inspiration i note that you ll bring more expience than any justice in over 100 years. you also have incredly valued pras tis experice. you ha beencareful, thoughtful an open minded. in fact, wh strikes me most about your record is it seems to reveal no biases. you appr to take each case as it comes, giving full consideration tohe arguments of bh sides before reaching cion. when jusce suitor announc his retirement in may, i suggested the court would nefit from a broer range of my concern at tim wasn't the ck of women or racial or
ethnic minities, although that deficit is glaring. i was pointing to the fact that most of the curre justices shareroughly the se life experiences. i am hardened by what you bri to the courtased on your upbringing, ur story of achievement, your experiences and ye the prospect of you beg e first latina to sit on the high court. diversity serves many goals outside th courtroom. it better equips us to understand more of the backgrounds that comprise our society. moreer, a gwing bout of social rearch suggest that groups with diverse experience co to the right outcome more often than nodiverse groups
which may be just as talented. i lieve a diverse court will function better as well. another concern have is the handling of business case too often it see they sregarlaw and congressional poli choices. based on my education, my experience and inclination, i am not antibusiness. but whether it's preempting state laws, striking down putive dage awards, restricting access to courts or overturning 90 years of law, today's court gives me the impression that in business casings, t majority is over -- one sided. given our current economic crisis and enforcement tha led to that crisis, that bias is arly troubling. congress c and will enact an
improved regulatory system. the president can and willake sure that relevant enforcement agencies are populated with smart and effecve agnts. but a supreme court resistant to fedel government could unrmine those forts. judge has to call the gamehe same way for all sides. everyo that comes to the plate with the same amount o no balls and no strikes. one of the as separations of th syst is a place where the powerlesve a cn for justice on a levellaying field wi the perful. we nd justes on t supreme court who not only undstd thatbut are committed to make it areality. because of the impornce of business cases beforehe supreme cot, i pla to spend someime asking you about your experienceas a commercial
litigato your handling of businesses a trial jdge and your approacho business cases generally. what i'v seen ofour ecord, you seemo call the cases right down the middle. that is very importanto me. very soon, those of us up here will be done talking a you'll have a chanc to answer our question i look forward to your testimony. thk yo >> thank you vy much mr. kaufman. another former chairman of this coittee,enator specteri yielto you. >> chairman, i join my colleagues judge sotomayor in welcoming you and your family here and i cpliment the president for nominating an hispanic woman. i thinit was wrong for america to wt until 67 to have a african-american justice marshall on the court.
waited too long until 1981 to have the first woman, justice sandra day o'connor. i think as a diverse nation, diversy is very, very importt. you bring exceentcredentials, ademic academically, professly. your service on the ur but the constition requires t process fothis committee and then the full sente to consir in detail your qfications under ouconsent. st of the questions which will be asked o you will involve decided cases. i tend task aut decided cases, but al about cases that the supreme urt decided not to decide. and on theejtion of cases per desion. it's a big problem.
the court i would suggest has time for more cases and chief justic roberts in h confmation ing is essentially d more cases would be very helpful. ifou can draft the docket of the supreme court 1886 recurrently, in 86, there were 13096 cases on the docket. 1 were decided. senchlys later, 2007, only7 signed opinions. i start on th cas which are not cided although i could star in many, many are. could startwith the circuit splitshere one court of appeals in one section of the untry goes one way. other urt of appeals ges the otherway. the rest of the courts don't
know which way the predents are in the supreme courtides not to decie. but take the case of the tror surveillce program which was present bush's secret warrantless wiretaps and contrast that with congressional authority exercise under aic 1, providing t exclusivway to have wiretaps. perhapsthe sharpestconflict in the historof this great couny on the article 1 powers of the congress and article 2 powers of the president as commander in chief. the fedel district court said the program was unconstitution. the sih circuit decided 2-1 that the plaintif couldot
have sta in. i tug the decenting opinion was much stroer than the maty opinion and we all know it i a very flexib ctrine an used frequently by the court to avoid the deciding of case. then the supreme court sided not to hear the case. didn't even dide whether the lack otaingas a justifiable basis. this has led to great cnfusion in the law. this mning's newspers repog about other secret prrams which appareny, the esident had in operation the united state taken up the terror surveillae program the whether i was apprriate for
the president not to notifyhe chairman of the judiciary committee about the program. we now have a law which says all members of the committee -- e president didn't follow that law. did he have th rig to do s under article we? well, we n't know. or within the past two weeks, the supreme court nied hearing case involving claims by families of victims o 9/11 against sau arabia. and for princes in saudi arabia. the congressdecided wha sovereign immuni was in legislatioin 197 and had exclus, but the supreme court dend an opportunity for those families who had suffered
grievously fromaving their day in court. one of the questions when my portunity arises will be to askou what wld be the standards tat you wld employ in decidin what cases the supreme court would hear there is currently a major matter -- in iue on the voting rights ac and the conflict h been present for many yrs between the autrity of congress to decide what is t facal basis for legislation. the standard which was decided in the wds case was rational basis. the supreme court has adopted standard of ongruently, the
standard which justice alia has saidinvites jcial law making. you'll hear a l about a judge's respoibleti to interpret the law and not make ws. and duri the hearing of chief roberts,e said in plainrms that t court should allow the congress to decide what the factual basis isand for t courto do otherwise to gage in judial legislation. the votg right case was decided on narrowgrounds. it rtnly looks, if you read the recordhat the court is about ready to upset the voting rights cas just like it did in eric versus alabama on the americansith disableties act. so i would like to know wat your standard wl bef
coirmed. a rational basis which had been the traditional staard or proporonalty. if you tell me conrew ens, i'll askou what itmeans. it slides arou so much, there's some detail of at it is. what the standards are so we w know what to do when we undertake legislatn. your decision on acase, energy corporatn vers river incorporated, involving the enronmental protection agency d clean water act has a special prominence now that we are debatin climate control and global warming. in the second circuit opinion,
you were in the majority, deciding that it s the best technology. the supre court reversed 5-4 saying that it turned on cost benefit analysis. it, i think, is worthy of explorion, although what you answer is ofour discretion. it's hard to say who really right a mat of terpreting the constitution or the statute. having different vie i'd be brea inrested to know if you'd respond, and perps a voice as rong asours in the conference room would pduce a different result. it would ve a realimpact on cap and trade. with a few seconds i have left, i'd like to preew some
question on televising. i don'know why there are so mu interest here tay. i haven't counted this many cameras since jstice e elita was sitting whereou're sitting. you'vead experience with television. you're repcing justice suitor, who said thatf tv cameras were to come to the cot, they'd have to roll over his dead body. if you're confirmed, th won't have to roll over hisead body. but the court decides all the cutting edge quesons of the day. the senate is televised, the house is televised. a lot of people are fascinad by this hearing. i'd likeo seehe court televised. you'duess that. thank yovery much, judge tomayo thank you, mr. chairman.
>> thank you, senator specter. just want tounderstand the next by senator franken and ten we'l call for the two people who are going to introduceyou and you then, dg have the chance senator frann has been waiting patiently all day. please go ahead. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's an incredible honor to be here. less tha a week into my term as the united states senator,my first jor responsibility is here at thi historic coirmation aring. am truly humbl to jo the committee whh has played and will cnueo play such an portant role in overseeing our nation's system of justice. chairman leahy, for several years now, i have admired your strength in leading this
committee. i am honored to serve aloside of you. ranking member sesions. i want you to know i plan to folw the examp of my good frnd andred success who was willing and ready to do the work of the american people. look forward to working with you and my other republican colleagues in the senate, to improve the lives of all americans. to all the ers of this committee, know that i have a lot to learn from each of you. like so man prate tins, i have watched at least partof each and every sreme court confirmation hring since they've been televised and i wouldnote that thiis the first confirmion hearing that nator kennedy has not attended since 15.
>> senator will suspend. ofcers please remove -- who was causing a disrbance. again, a senator sessns and i have said, this is the meeti of the unit states senate. we'll sh respect to everybody who isere. we will show respect to everybody here a certainly to judgesotomayor, to the senators on both sides of t aisle and weill have oer in this room. >> thank you,senato leahy. >> thank you. senator franken, please. >> ank you, mr. chairman. what i was saying this is the first hearing since 1965 tat senator kendy has not been present and i know he'sff the committee now, but we do miss his presence. thestelevised hearings have taught americans a lot aboutur constitution and the ro the
courts play in upholding and defending it. i look forward to listening to all of your qstions and the issues that y and your constituents care abt. to judge sotayor. welcome. over the next few days, i expect to learn from you as wel as been said, you're theost perienced ninee to the sueme court in 100 year and after meeting you in my offce last week, i know you're not just an outandingjudge, but anexceptional individual. your story is inspirational, o whicall americans should take great pride in and i welcome your family as wl. as most of you know, this is m fifth day in office. that may mean i'm the mt junior senator, but also means that i am the setor who mo recently took t oath of
office. st tuesday, i swore to suppo anddefend the constitution of the united states. and to bear true faith and aallegiance to it. take thi oath very serusly. as we consider yur nomination, jue sotomayor. i may t be a lawyer but neither are the overwlming majori of americans. t all of us, regardless of our backgrounds and pfessions have huge stake in whositsnhe supreme court and we are profoundlyffected by its decision i hope to use my time to raise issues to the people of minnesota and this nation. this hearing will help foses sitting in living rooms and officein duluth, the in
cities, to get better ideaof whathe court is, wha it does and what it's supposed to dond how it affects t every day lives all americans. justice suitor, who you will replace if you are onfirm, once id, the first lesson, simple as iis,s that whatever court we'rein, whatever we're doing, the e of our task,ome hman being is going to be affected some human life is gog to be changed hat we do a so we had better use every power of our min andourearts a our beings to get those rulings right. i believe justice suitor h it right. in past months, i'vpent a lot of tim thinking about the court's impact on the live of americs and rding and coting with some o
minnesota's top legalinds and i believe that the rights of americans citizen and voters areacg cllenges on o separate fronts. first, i believe th the position oe cgrs, with respect to the courts and the executive in jeopardy, en before aspired to esent the people of minnesota in the ited states senate, i believed that the framers made congress the first branch ofovernment for a reas. itanswers most directly to the people and s the legitimacy to eak for th people in crafting laws to be carried out by the executive branch i am weary ofudicial act viz m i believe in judicia reraint expect under certain circumstances, the br is signed to show deep differee and not make policy by itself.
in looking at resent decision it aearappropriate difference may notave been shownn the past few years and there are signs at it is onhe rise in these areas. i agree with senator feingold and whitehouse. hear a lotut judicial actvism when judges are runnin for office. it seems that their definition is one who votes differently than they would like. for example, during the court, justice clarence thomas vot to overturnederal laws more than step and breyer combid.
second, i'm concerned americans are facg new barriers to their individual rhts. the supreme court i the last court in land where a dividual is pmised a level playing field and caseek to right or wrong. it is theas place an employee can gof he or she is discminated against because of age, gender or color. the last place a small business owner can go. it is e last place an investor can go to try t recover losses from security frd. it is the last place a perso can go to ptect the free flow of imation on the internet. it is the last place a citizen can go to otect his or her te. it is th lastlace where a woman can go to potect her reproductive health and ghts. yet, from what i see on eachf those frnts, for each of thos rights, the pst decade has made
a little bit harder for arican citizens to defend themsves. as i said fore, judge, i'm re to learn from you. want to learn when you tnk is the properelatiohip between congre and the courts, beeen congress and the executive. i want to len how yougo about weighing the rhts of the invidualthe small cnsumer or business owner and more powerful interests. judicial constraint in the ws on context of impoant issues like votie inine inin rits and onccet the internet and camign finance reform. we'll have a lot more time togetherso i'm just going star listening. ank you, mr. chairman. >> tha you very much, senator franken. and at we're going to do,ove a couple of cirs in, please,
judge,nd -- we' going t have two peopleho will speak, each for five minut to introduce you. iill then administer the oath of -- t oath of thcommittee you. hoabout that. administer the oath before the commite. then we will hear yo testimony. so by seniority, senator humer, you are recnized for ve minutes, th senator gillibra, you are recognized for fiveminutes. >> thank yo mr.chairman, and today is a great, national opportunity. it'sn opportunity to recogni
that theomination of one of the most qualifd candidates to the supreme court in american history uld not have happened anywhere else in the world. judge sotomayos story is a great american sry and i might add, areat new york story as well. consider th. in no other country in theworld could woman from a minority group who ew u in a workin class fa have received an education at the best institutionsnd having rived thereo ono be a judge and now a nominee to the highest court inhe land. this is because we don't have a cast system in this country, or even a cash system. 250 years ago, we threw awayhe century's old framework. we started fresh with no ras or titles. less than four score and seven
years later, a farmer from illinois became perhaps our grtest president. and so the american story gs and judge sotomayor from the bronx, daughter of a singl parent, practal nurse, has wrn her own chapter in it. judgsotomayor embodies wt we l stri for as amerin tizens, her lfe and career are not about race or class or gender. although as for all of us, these are important pas o whohe is. her story is about how race and clasat the end of te day are not sued to predetermi anything in america. what matts is hard work and education and those things wll pa off no matter who you are or where you have come from. it's exacy what each of us wants for ourself and for our children a this shared vision is why is moment is histic for all americans.
judge sotomayor was born to parents o moved to w york from puerto rico during world war ii. her father was a factory work with a thd grade education. he died when she s 9. her mother worked and raised sotomayor and he brother, juan, no a doctor practicing in syracuse, on her own. she gradted first in her class in971. she has returne tospeak there and to encourage futu alumni to work hard, get an education and pursue theirreams the same way she did. when sonia sotomayor was gring up, the nancy drew stories inspired her sense of adventure anshowed her that women could and should be outspen and
bold. now, in 2009, there are many re role models for a young cardal sllman student to ch from. with judge somayor foremost ong them. judge somayor went own to employ her eormous talentsat princeton, where she achved thehighest honor. this isn award thats given not just to t smartesttudent in t css but to the most ceptionally smart student who's given the most to her commit she graduated from yale law school. i believe that theearings will mte less than for the several previous nominees or at the least, that these hearings ll bear outwhat is obvious about her. that she is modest and humble in her approach to judging.
as we become even mo familiar wi her incisive mind and balanced views, i am certain that this heang will prove to all what is already clear to many. this is a moment in which all americans canake great pride. not just new yorkers, not just hispanics, not just women, but all americans who believe opportunity and who want for themselves and their children a fair reading of the laws by dge who understands that while were a nation of individuals, we are all gorned by on law. mr. airman,eople felt at the founding of america that ware quote, god's noble experiment. judge sotomay's personal sry shows that oday, more than 200 years later, we are still god's
noble experiment. thank you. >> senator schumer and now senatorllibrand -- the other senator from new york. please go ahead, senator gillnd. thank y, chairma leahy, ranking member sessions for t privilege to speak on behalf of judge sonia sotomayor. president obama has chosen one the country's outstanding gal minds with his nomination of sonia sotomayor to the unit states supreme court. as a new yorker, i take great pride in jdg somayor's nomination, along with the rest of my ate and theirelegation and my lleagues from the
house. as a woman, i te great pride this htoric nomination. in the words ofandra day o'connor,t took a ry long time to get the first woman on the supreme cou and i thought th we'd very likely always ve two and eventually, more. i am have thankful for president obaman his recognition of women's voicesnhe high court. her life and career are astudy in excellenc a commitment to learning and the law. her stor is also the quint essential american and new york story. growing up in public housing and raised with aove of untry and deep apprecie for hard work. jue sotomor demonstrated a votion to larning and serving
as an editor before per suing her career in law. the breadth and deh of her experice make her uniquely qualified. her understanding of case law and impoance of precedent is to rise from worki inearly every aspect o thesystem. as a prosecutor,rial and apllate judge. as prosecutor, prosecuting a litany o crimes. the attan da described her as fearless andble champion of the law. just as her years posed her to allacets of commercial law including real estate and
banking. shwas anted by president george bush, and earning a retation as tough and fair mied. she will replace justice suit with trial experience. she ha participat in ov300 decisions,ith only seven being ought the supreme court which reversed only two of those decisions. with confirmation, judge sotomayor brigs more jicial experienceo the supremert thanny jusce in 100 years and moreudicial experienc in 70 years. manyindependent, national and league laenforcement gros havelready endorsed r nomination, incding the aba,
giving h theighest rating of wellualified, complimenting her mature, legal mind and he cord of deci cases. and that e is a heahy respecfor the limited role of judges and balance of powers with the executive and legislative branchs. it waslso stated she's tough, fair minded. nomie's experience a a gal advocate for civ rights must not be seen disquafyg, but instead as the hallmark ofn individual's mmitment to our principles o ity, justice and freedom. like ruth baderginsburg's
rticipation judge sotomayor's leadershipole inhe legal defense nd demonstrates her commitment the constitutn. constitutional rightand core valuesofquality andn inalienable american right and not on race or color her experience uniquely enforced her ability to enforcefacts. her commitment to the constitutions unyieldin as she described her philosophy ying, i don't believe we should bend the constitution under any ciumstances. it says what it says. we shouldo honor to it. her record on the second rct demonstrateshe importance of thisconviction. the impoance of sonia sotomayor's professional
personal storyannotbe understad. many of our justice is ha noted the importance of th backgrounds and experiencesin being anffective justice. they also understd that tir gender oethnicity is not a determining factor in tir rulings, but another asset in ich they bng to the court much likeetion, ting and previous legal work justice scaia said quote, iam the product of the melting pot of nework. i have absolutely noacial prejudices a am probably as antagonistic as the average aman. justice clarence thomas said my journey has been one that required me to touch on virtually every level of our country, from people who couldn't read and write to
people who were extremely litera litera. >> senator, we have to put your statement -- so jue sotoyor can be ard. >> may i concludey remarks? >> one minute. >>ow abo -- >> 20. i strongly ppt judge sotomayor's nomination and firmlyelieve her to be one of the finest in american hry. >> thank you. judge, nowe will administer the oath an i'll let the senators step back. ife can --
just raise your rht hand. do you swear the testimony you're about to give to be t truth, the whole trut and nothg but the trh so help you god? >> i do. >> thank you. pleasee seated. i thank my t collea from new york for the introduction and ippreciate it. i know both ha known you f some time. dge, you've also introduced number o members from your familynd now, the floor is yours. >> thank you, mr. chaman. i also wt to than senator scmer and gillibrand for their kind introductions. in recent weeks, have had the privilege an pleasure of meetimeet meeting 89 senators, including
all the members o this committee. each of you has been gracio to me. our meetings have given me an ilminating tour of the 50 states and invaluable inights into the american pele. that are cntless family members and friends who have done so much o the years to ke this day possible. im deeply appreciativeor their love and support i wao make one special note of tnks to my mother. i am heres many of you have ticed, because of her sacrifices f both my brother d me. mom, thank y. i am very grateful to the president and humbled to be here today as a nominee to the united states supreme court. th prossion of mylife has
been uniquely amerin. my parents lt puerto ri during world war ii. i grew up in modest circumstces in a b housin project. my father, a factory worke with a third grade education, passed away when i was 9 years old. on her own, my moth raised my brother and me. she taught that the key to success in america was a good edation and she set the example. udying alongside my broer and me so that she could become a gistered nurse. we worked hard. i pour melf into my studi at cardinal spellman high school, earning scholships to princeton and en yale, while my brother went on to medical school our achievements are due to the values we lened as children
and they have connued to guid endeavors. try to pass th on by serving as a mentor and friend to my many god childreand to udents of all backnds. over the pasthree decades, i ha seen our judicial system from a number of different perspectes. as aorporate litigator, a trial judge and appellate judge. my firs job was a asstant districtttorney in new york. there, i saw children exploed an abused. i felt t pain and suffering o families torn apart by the needless deaths of loved ones. i saw and learned the tgh job laenforcement has in protecting the public.