WASHINGTON (CNN) - Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch said Monday that he intends to evaluate Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination for the Supreme Court based in part on standards emphasized by President Barack Obama when Obama served in the U.S. Senate.
Speaking during the opening session of Sotomayor's confirmation hearing, Hatch specifically cited a speech Obama gave on the Senate floor in June, 2005, when the then-Illinois senator opposed President Bush's nomination of Judge Janice Rogers Brown to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Hatch quoted Obama as saying that "the test (of an effective judge) is whether he or she can effectively subordinate their views in order to decide each case on the facts and the merits alone. That is what keeps our judiciary independent in America."
Brown, a former justice on California's highest court, had been mentioned as a possible U.S. Supreme Court nominee during the Bush administration. A conservative African-American woman, Brown's nomination was opposed by many progressive and civil rights groups despite what many believed to be an extraordinary personal life story.
Obama eventually voted against Brown, though she was confirmed for the Court of Appeals' District of Columbia circuit.
A number of Sotomayor's supporters have cited her personal life story - and status as the first Hispanic nominee for the high court - in arguing for her confirmation.
– CNN's Bill Mears contributed to this report