June 11th, 2009
02:13 PM ET
5 years ago

Sotomayor called herself 'the perfect affirmative action baby'

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor admitted years ago she was a "product of affirmative action" when she was admitted to prestigious universities, but defended the contributions she offered as a Hispanic woman to classroom and workplace diversity.

The statements were part of newly-released videos of speeches and panels dating from the mid 1980s that the 54-year-old federal judge provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold confirmation hearings to the high court beginning July 13.

The remarks offer often candid insights into the New York native's views on the law, growing up poor in a Bronx housing project, juggling a career and a social life, and her 1980s divorce.

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Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
June 11th, 2009
02:05 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama takes health care push to town hall meeting

 President Obama is discussing health care reform in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
President Obama is discussing health care reform in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

(CNN) - President Barack Obama took his health care reform push on the road Thursday, saying in Green Bay, Wisconsin, that those concerned with high costs and rising deficits should be proponents of change to an ailing system.

"If you're worried about spending and you're worried about deficits, you need to be worried about the cost of health care," he said at a town hall meeting, later adding that doing nothing would cost far more in the coming years.

He aimed his comments at Republican opponents of Democratic-backed proposals for a government-funded national health care option intended to ensure that 47 million Americans lacking health insurance can sign up for - and afford - coverage.

Republican leaders specifically oppose the government-funded plan, fearing it would lead to eventual elimination of private health insurance.

Obama acknowledged he supports what is called the national option, saying it would increase competition for private plans. At the same time, the president insisted a national plan would be one of many choices as part of reforms intended to strengthen the U.S. system.

"If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor," he said to applause. "If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan."

Savings in spending on federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as decreasing tax deductions for high-income Americans, would help cover increased costs of health care reform, Obama said.

He noted that some facilities and places, including Green Bay, offer better medical care at a lower price than others.

Full prepared remarks after the jump:

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Filed under: President Obama
June 11th, 2009
01:45 PM ET
5 years ago

Cafferty: Can Obama's Cairo speech help defeat Ahmadinejad?

 Join the conversation on Jack's blog.
Join the conversation on Jack's blog.

Some are calling it the "Cairo effect"… they're referring to indications that President Obama's speech last week has already resonated with the Muslim world. In it, the president made clear that countries that don't back extremists are more likely to win the favor of the West — and avoid isolation.

The first test came last weekend during Lebanon's elections, where an American-backed coalition defeated the Hezbollah-backed group. Most analysts had predicted that the Hezbollah-led coalition would win…

But The New York Times reports that while there are many domestic reasons why the pro-west coalition won, many also point to Mr. Obama's campaign of outreach to the Muslim world: "For the first time in a long time, being aligned with the United States did not lead to defeat in the Middle East."

Analysts highlight steps the new administration has already taken to ease tensions with Muslims. For example, they are proposing talks with Iran and Syria — rather than confrontation — which makes it harder for Hezbollah and other extremists to demonize the U.S.

To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion, click here


Filed under: Cafferty File
June 11th, 2009
11:58 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama to take on health care at town hall

 Sen. Max Baucus listens as President Obama speaks during a meeting on health care.
Sen. Max Baucus listens as President Obama speaks during a meeting on health care.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama on Thursday will step up his role in the health care debate, discussing the issue at a town hall meeting in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The White House has increased its pressure on Congress to pass comprehensive health care legislation no later than October, but key aspects of Obama's health care wish list have met resistance with Republicans and even conservative Democrats.

However, a new proposal to create privately operated health-insurance cooperatives as an alternative to a government-run health care plan is gaining steam in the Senate, several key senators said Wednesday.

The plan is shaping up as possibly the most viable way to bridge a key difference between Democrats and Republicans negotiating a health care overhaul, senators said.

Full story


Filed under: President Obama
June 11th, 2009
10:30 AM ET
5 years ago

More Senate meetings for Sotomayor

(CNN) – Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is set to meet with seven more senators Thursday, the White House announced.

SCHEDULE OF JUDGE SOTOMAYOR’S CAPITOL HILL MEETINGS
THURSDAY, JUNE 11

Today, Judge Sotomayor will visit Capitol Hill to meet with the following Senators:

Senator Daniel Akaka
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
Senator Bill Nelson
Senator Jack Reed
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Senator Jon Tester
Senator Mark Udall


Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
June 11th, 2009
09:38 AM ET
5 years ago

Four Guantanamo detainees resettled in Bermuda

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Four Chinese nationals of Uighur ethnicity held at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility have been resettled in Bermuda, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

They were among 17 Uighur detainees at the facility set up to hold terror suspects.


Filed under: Uncategorized
June 11th, 2009
09:15 AM ET
5 years ago

Holocaust museum closed in wake of shooting

 Stephen Tyrone Johns was shot and killed while working at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday.
Stephen Tyrone Johns was shot and killed while working at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum remained closed Thursday, its flags lowered to half-staff in tribute to a security guard who was killed trying to stop a man with a gun.

Authorities identified the suspect, who was wounded by other security guards, as 88-year-old white supremacist James von Brunn of Maryland.

The Metropolitan Police Department; the D.C. office of the FBI; the U.S. attorney's office and other federal and local officials will hold a news conference Thursday morning to discuss charges against von Brunn.

Full story


Filed under: Uncategorized
June 11th, 2009
05:11 AM ET
5 years ago

Republicans write letter to Sotomayor, ask for more information

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have written a letter to Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have written a letter to Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As time ticks down to July 13 - the recently announced date for the start of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings - Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are asking Sotomayor for more information about her lengthy legal career that includes almost two decades on the federal bench.

A letter to Sotomayor signed by every Republican on the committee and dated Wednesday states that committee staff "have noted a number of apparent omissions" in the materials Sotomayor recently submitted.

"In addition, we believe that some of your responses are incomplete," the letter also says. The seven Republican senators ask Sotomayor to "revisit the questionnaire and provide another supplement as soon as possible." Alternatively, "[i]f you believe that your questionnaire is fully responsive, we would appreciate an explanation to that effect," the Republicans tell Sotomayor.

Read: The Republicans' letter to Sotomayor

Among other things, the letter asks Sotomayor to provide copies of materials she edited while at Yale Law School, to explain why an all-female organization that she belongs to does not violate the federal courts' Code of Judicial Conduct, and to provide more information about nearly 200 speeches, remarks, or lectures she has given.
FULL POST


Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
June 11th, 2009
05:08 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: June 11, 2009

ALT TEXT

The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL

For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com.

CNN: GOP has self-esteem issues, poll suggests
The Republican Party is in need of a leader and boost in its self-esteem, a new poll suggests.

CNN: Palau to take Uighur detainees from Gitmo
The Pacific island nation of Palau has agreed to take in 17 Chinese Muslims held at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the country's ambassador to the United States said Wednesday.

CNN: Nagin released from flu quarantine
New Orleans, Louisiana, Mayor Ray Nagin, who was quarantined in China after possible exposure to the H1N1 virus, was released Wednesday to continue an economic development trip.

CNN: U.N. Security Council condemns N. Korea
The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council condemned North Korea's recent nuclear test "in the strongest terms" in a draft resolution passed Wednesday.

CNN: Co-ops plan emerging as possible key to health-care compromise
A proposal to create privately operated health-insurance cooperatives as an alternative to a government-run health plan is gaining steam in the Senate, several key senators said Wednesday.

CNN: Republicans write letter to Sotomayor, ask for more information
As time ticks down to July 13 — the recently announced date for the start of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings — Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are asking Sotomayor for more information about her lengthy legal career that includes almost two decades on the federal bench.

CNN: Wright: 'Them Jews' won't let Obama talk to me
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the former Chicago pastor whose racially-charged sermons threatened to implode President Obama's primary bid last year, is again making waves over recent comments about his current relationship with the commander-in-chief.

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Filed under: Political Hot Topics
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