Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is among the Republicans grilling U-S Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor today as confirmation hearings resume before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
While Grassley raised doubts about her impartiality during Monday’s opening statement, he admits unless Sotomayor makes a serious blunder, she’ll likely win confirmation as the first Hispanic justice. The Senate has 60 Democrats and 40 Republicans.
Grassley says, "It’s hard to see how ten Democrats may turn against her and I wouldn’t even project that all Republicans might be against her so I would say you oughta’ wait until Thursday or Friday to make any judgments about that."
Much of Monday’s time was taken up by lawmakers making speeches and Sotomayor only had five minutes to address the panel. Today, it’ll be more of a question-and-answer format. Grassley says, "You’re going to find a lot of vigorous and in-depth questioning by Republicans, probably the same for Democrats, Democrats more defending, Republicans more trying to find out where she’s coming from."
Grassley has already raised questions about whether the nominee would follow the letter of the law or her personal opinions when making a ruling. In Monday’s brief statement, Sotomayor said her one benchmark was "fidelity to the law," a comment Grassley is curious to hear her expand upon.
"We don’t know whether she’s pandering or whether she’s sincere," Grassley says. "If she’s sincere, she’s going to quiet a lot of criticism that interest groups and Republicans, for the most part, have raised about her. But we’ve gotta’ get into it in-depth and find out."
During Monday’s hearing, Sotomayor vowed to be impartial and told senators the law will always command the result — "in every case.’