WASHINGTON (AP) - Sonia Sotomayor takes the national spotlight
today when Senate confirmation hearings begin on her nomination to
be the first Hispanic and just the third woman on the Supreme
Democrats hold a comfortable majority on the Senate Judiciary
Committee and a filibuster-resistant 60 votes in the Senate.
Republicans are signaling that the process won't be a free ride.
Sotomayor will tell her compelling up-from-poverty personal
story to a jury tilted strongly in her favor.
Republicans say they will press the 55-year-old New Yorker and
veteran federal judge to explain past rulings involving
discrimination complaints and gun rights. They'll also inquire
about comments that they say raise doubts about Sotomayor's ability
to judge cases fairly.
Her defenders have portrayed her as a meticulous judge who has
strictly followed the law in her 17 years on the federal bench.