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Sotomayor Hearings Commence

Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings for the United States Supreme Court began yesterday. Though the first day of hearings was dominated by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s opening statements, Sotomayor made a brief introductory statement at the close of the proceedings.

In her opening statement Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) referenced Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the only women to have served on the US Supreme Court. She said “their undeniable merits triumphed over those who sought to deny them opportunity. The women who came before you…helped blaze a trail. And although your record stands on your own, you also stand on their shoulders – another woman with an opportunity to be a justice for all of us,” reported the Washington Post.

Judge Sotomayor was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of New York by former President George H.W. Bush and was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by former President Bill Clinton. She graduated from Princeton and attended law school at Yale, where she was editor of the law review. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is currently the only woman seated on the Court. Former justice Sandra Day O’Connor retired in 2005.

The hearing was interrupted three times by anti-choice protesters, who were immediately escorted away. One protestor was Norma McCorvey, “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the US. Outside of the hearing McCorvey stated, “I’m here to overturn Roe and defeat Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court. She’s unworthy of the position. She’s Catholic. She’s even unworthy of taking communion because of her pro-abortion stance,” reported the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Sources:

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 7/13/09; Washington Post 7/13/09; Feminist Daily News Wire 5/26/09