Sotomayor displayed an easy way with her questioners. She joked with conservative Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., in an exchange about gun rights and told a story about her mother's disbelief when Sotomayor left a high-paying private practice to become a federal judge. "I am mightily impressed," Coburn told her as he wrapped up his questioning Thursday.
Sotomayor's witty character will surely bring life and pressure to every decision that will come to the highest court. Her determination and experience will be highly useful and will probably be unlikely as compared to past judges who wonders why they are there upon their first time of being appointed.
Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., encouraged Sotomayor to "battle out the ideas that you believe in." Those fights often play out in the justices' majority opinions and dissents.
But it might take years to find out whether Sotomayor would be an effective negotiator and conciliator who can draw a wavering justice to her side.
On the current court, firmly divided between conservatives and liberals on so many cultural issues, Justice Anthony Kennedy is the only one whose vote could be described as up for grabs.
"Might she persuade Kennedy to come out differently than what Souter could persuade him to do?" Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the new law school at the University of California at Irvine, said before the hearings. "Can Sotomayor by virtue of her life experiences move Kennedy to join the more liberal bloc more often?"
Reference: Yahoo News
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