Sotomayor Insists She Isn’t a Renegade Activist Enemy of the Law

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Sotomayor kicked things off with a performance of Ave Maria.
Sotomayor kicked things off with a performance of Ave Maria. Photo: Getty Images

Perhaps aware of the fact that she'll be forced to endlessly expound on her judicial philosophy in the coming days, Sonia Sotomayor kept her opening remarks at her confirmation hearing today short and sweet. Or maybe she just recognized that the day's session, during which each senator gave a usually coma-inducing ten-minute statement, had dragged on for long enough. Either way, Sotomayor took the time to thank her mom and quickly recount her career highlights before refuting the concerns expressed about her today and for the past six weeks — that she doesn't strictly follow the law (as if they're always so clear); that she relies too heavily on her life experiences, Latina heritage, and the dreaded empathy; and that she'll legislate from the bench. "The task of a judge is not to make the law — it is to apply the law," she responded. "And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms." Oddly enough, the twelve Democrats on the Judiciary Committee seem to by and large agree, while the seven Republicans are quite skeptical. A freakish coincidence, for sure.

Sotomayor's prepared statement to senators [USAT]