Republicans go on the attack against Sotomayor

In the early going, Republicans suggest the judge wouldn't be fair and impartial on the Supreme Court

Published July 13, 2009 4:20PM (EDT)

Monday morning's portion of the hearings into Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court didn't have much in the way of drama -- certainly, there was almost nothing surprising about what happened, and very few fireworks.

The Judiciary Committee's Republicans did give a pretty good preview of how they'll oppose Sotomayor, though: Among other things, they'll say she relies too much on "empathy" and her personal experience instead of a strict reading of the law and the Constitution when she makes her decisions, and that she's not an impartial jurist, but an activist. They'll certainly try to bring up some of the more controversial cases she was involved in, like Ricci -- a lawsuit brought by white firefighters in New Haven, Conn. -- and tie those in as well. 

At the same time, though, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., conceded that unless she experiences some kind of "meltdown," Sotomayor will almost certainly be confirmed.

Below, two clips from opening statements given by two of the committee's most prominent Republicans -- Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., the ranking member, and Graham.

Sen. Sessions:

Sen. Graham:

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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Jeff Sessions Lindsey Graham Sonia Sotomayor War Room