By Jeremy Jacobs - 07/12/09 12:28 PM EDT
“I am really flabbergasted by the depth and consistency of her philosophical critique of the ideal of impartial justice,” Sessions said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Sessions said he’s uncomfortable that Sotomayor has “advocated a view that suggests that your personal experiences, even prejudices,” will influence decisions.
That, he added, “is a blow at the very ideal of American justice.”
He also said such views can determine a justice’s opinions more often on the Supeme Court than on lower courts.
Sessions’s comments come one day before Sotomayor's confirmation hearings open on Monday. Sotomayor, Obama’s first pick for the high court, appears set to sail through to confirmation given the Democratic 60-seat majority in the Senate.
Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerConvention shows Democrats support fracking, activists on the fringe Dem ad blasts Indiana senate candidate on Social Security The Trail 2016: Unity at last MORE (D-N.Y.) on Sunday predicted Sotomayor would win as many or more than the 78 votes won by Chief Justice John Roberts in his confirmation hearing.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyProtecting the right to counsel in immigration court Dems urge Obama to release info on Russian links to DNC hack Top senators want details on probe of DNC breach MORE (D-Vt.), appearing with Sessions, said his colleague was “grasping at straws” in trying to criticize Sotomayor.
“Here's a woman who was a mainstream judge and who deserves respect as a judge,” Leahy said.
Leahy said he has discussed the concerns raised by Sessions with Sotomayor, who would be the first Latina Supreme Court justice. Sotomayor, Leahy went on, said that “ultimately and completely” the law controls her opinions, and not any personal bias.
“Anything else is nitpicking and gives the impressions that a lot of people were going to oppose anybody, anybody that President Obama came up with,” Leahy said.