Sonia Sotomayor's historic trial by Senate fire about to begin
She'll face tough questioning, but even Republicans expect her to be confirmed.
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''The only way she can get derailed is if she performs poorly next week,'' Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told the McClatchy News Service. He said he was still undecided, but added, "I honestly think I could vote for her.''Skip to next paragraph
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But one of the raps on the nominee is that she is too abrasive with lawyers arguing their cases before her -- a “bear on the bench,” as she has described herself. Setting aside whether such criticisms are sexist, those who’ve been the target of her penetrating questions don’t necessarily agree.
“Her questions can lead some lawyers to wish they had been quizzed in a far more cuddly manner,” writes Floyd Abrams, one of the country’s most prominent lawyers, in a Wall Street Journal column. “But in my experience her questions are tough and fair, demanding and acute. One could say worse things about a judge.”
Sotomayor also has the endorsement of Republican Kenneth Starr, the former federal judge and independent counsel who led the Monica Lewinsky investigation that lead to the impeachment of former president Bill Clinton.
"I'm very much an admirer of her, and I'm supporting the nomination," Mr. Starr said last month at a conference at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. "I think that's a very wise and sound nomination of our president."
The hearings will feature a variety of heavy-weight and potentially colorful witnesses, ranging from New Haven, Conn., firefighter Frank Ricci (who recently won his “reverse discrimination” case in the Supreme Court) to former Major League Baseball pitcher Dave Cone.
Let the show begin.
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