Supreme Court

Sotomayor Practicing for Senate Battle

Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings begin Monday, and the Supreme Court nominee has been rehearsing for over a week with Obama administration lawyers to prepare for senators' hard-hitting questions. Republicans will target her "wise Latina" comment, linking it to President Obama's earlier comment that it's important for a judge to have empathy. "Empathy is great, perhaps, if you're the beneficiary of it," Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a Senate speech last week. Republicans say they will press Sotomayor on her 10 years as a board member of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, when Sessions said she took "extreme positions," as well as her decision in Ricci v. DeStefano, the firefighter discrimination case. Abortion will most likely not be an issue, since she won't tip the court's balance, though if senators press her on hot-button issues she might have to rule on as a justice, Sotomayor will most likely say she can't comment.