U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and former Texas Supreme Court Justice, participated in today's confirmation hearing for Judge Sonia Sotomayor. He reacted in an interview with CNN, and below are excerpts.
Sen. Cornyn on his questions for Judge Sotomayor
"[S]he's made some pretty provocative statements as we know - her comment about a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience making better decisions than someone of a different sex or ethnicity. And those sorts of things begin to cause questions along with other things she said about whether she believes in equal justice or whether the outcome is going to depend on who the judge is. That's what we're trying to get at."
Sen. Cornyn on the Ricci case
"I worry that the way she and her fellow judges sort of seemed to sweep that case - by the firefighters - under the rug. It took another judge, Judge Cabranes, to call them out on it. And then ultimately, because of his dissent the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case and then reversed Judge Sotomayor. We will have a couple witnesses here - firefighters who basically were denied a promotion because of the color of their skin as a result of Judge Sotomayor's decision, both a Hispanic and an Anglo. So it ought to be interesting. They will be here on Wednesday."
Sen. Cornyn on Judge Sotomayor's opening statement
"She said all the right things in her statement. What I would like to do is have her reconcile what she said in her opening statement with the speeches that I alluded to earlier. That's where I'm going to inquire during my [questions]."
Sen. Cornyn on giving Judge Sotomayor a fair hearing
"I think that's only fair to give her the hearing. Otherwise, we wouldn't need to be here for this week. ... I think unfortunately these hearings have not always been characterized by what I would call fairness. We mentioned Miguel Estrada's nomination just a few years ago, filibustered seven times and denied an up or down vote. I assured Judge Sotomayor that would not happen to her, and she would get the respect that she and every nominee deserves."