Sotomayor Differs With Obama: Heart's Not That Vital

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2009 4:52 PM CDT
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor testifies on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Day 2 of Sonia Sotomayor's Senate confirmation hearings have wrapped up, with the all-but-certain nominee disagreeing at one point with President Obama's assertion in 2007 that a judge's "heart" is important in rulings, reports Politico. “I wouldn’t approach the issue of judging in the way the president does," she told Sen. Jon Kyl. "Judges can’t rely on what’s in their heart. ... The job of a (judge) is to apply the law." 

As expected, Sotomayor faced a barrage of questions about her "wise Latina" comment, which today she termed a "rhetorical flourish that fell flat." She told Republican Jeff Sessions that the comment "left an impression that life experience commanded a result in a case, but that’s clearly not what I do as a judge." Lindsey Graham also pressed her, notes CNN, asserting that if he'd ever said something similar, his political career would be over. Said Sotomayor: "I would hope we've come (to the point) in America" where such a remark could be considered "in the context of a person's life."