July 13th, 2009
06:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Sotomayor pledges 'fidelity to the law'

Judge Sonia Sotomayor speaks Monday to the Senate panel considering her nomination to the Supreme Court.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor speaks Monday to the Senate panel considering her nomination to the Supreme Court.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor said Monday that her hotly disputed judicial philosophy is, in fact, quite simple: Remain faithful to the law.

"In the past month, many senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy," Sotomayor told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during her opening statement at her confirmation hearings.

"It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make law, it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record ... reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms, interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress's intent and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and by my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand."

Sotomayor said the "process of judging is enhanced when the arguments and concerns of the parties to the litigation are understood and acknowledged."

That, she noted, "is why I generally structure my opinions by setting out what the law requires and then explaining why a contrary position, sympathetic or not, is accepted or rejected. That is how I seek to strengthen both the rule of law and faith in the impartiality of our judicial system."

Sotomayor argued that her "personal and professional experiences help [her] listen and understand, with the law always commanding the result in every case."

Some of Sotomayor's critics have argued that she has allowed her rulings to be swayed by factors such as ethnicity and race.

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Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Lauren

    I have looked at some of Sotomayor's past judicial decisions and have come to the conclusion that she is a very bright, thoughtful woman who truely does follow the law and apply her decisions to the law.

    The republicans are counting on people being distracted by the one comment that she made, they are trying to control the message. But for people who read and do the research, it is clear that the republicans are whistling in the dark. They are hoping we listen to them and not seek out the facts for ourselves.

    July 13, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  2. Tired in SC

    It would be much better for our country if you would just go back to Porta Rico. Form Cnn's news I understnad that you are largely influenced by the Hispancis community. We need to be able to vote a person inot the position you wnat not just give it to a person based on what the president wants. Not fair at all,

    July 13, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  3. bob z

    she should not be confirmed ,she is a member of la raza which is very racist group

    July 13, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  4. No Hillary = No Obama

    You go girl!

    July 13, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  5. Really!?

    Why has she never said that in a speech over the years? She has regularly said just the opposite.

    July 13, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  6. swin5

    And if you don't believe her you can ask her.

    July 13, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  7. independent Jim

    Qualified – check. Promises to follow the law and Constitution – check. Nominated by one political party and opposed by the other – check. Nothing new here....

    July 13, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
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