5065717 As Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings edge closer, many are raising their voices both for and against the Supreme Court nominee.
In a press conference Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy stated that Sotomayor would "unquestionably" maintain a balanced view on criminal cases.
"Judge Sotomayor's criminal justice record proves that she is a moderate judge, whose decisions in criminal cases rarely differ from those of her colleagues on the Federal bench," Leahy said.
Alongside Leahy, many law enforcement groups also spoke out in favor of the judge. Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association President Jon Adler said Tuesday that he believes that the nominee will "be loyal to the rule of law" and that she has "the requisite intellect, experience and character" necessary to fulfill her duty.
Additionally, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent a letter to Leahy today expressing his full support of his constituent (Sotomayor hails from the Bronx), the New York Daily News reports.
"I have great confidence that Judge Sotomayor's rulings demonstrate her knowledge of the law, objectivity, fairness, and impartiality, which are essential qualities for any judge," Bloomberg wrote.
In addition, the American Bar Association announced a unanimous endorsement for Sotomayor today.
However, her ascension to the Supreme Court may not be easy.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell complains that Sotomayor holds a racial preference when it comes to discrimination cases. He told the AP Tuesday that he believes her decision in a case concerning reverse discrimination for firefighters shows racial bias and that she allows personal agenda to influence her vote.
"It is a troubling philosophy for any judge — let alone one nominated to our highest court — to convert empathy into favoritism for particular groups," McConnell said
The AP also reports that the National Rifle Association has "very serious" concerns about Sotomayor's views on gun rights, although they are not officially opposed to her. NRA Executive Director Chris Cox urged senators to investigate this issue in a letter today.
Sotomayor's confirmation hearings are slated to start next week.
However, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions said that he felt the hearings are "too early" and that the GOP may throw road blocks in effort to stall, CQ Politics reports.
"We're going to try to be ready but if something comes up we'll definitely exercise what options are available," he said.
Sessions, in addition to time constraints, also expressed his concern that GOP judiciary members may be tied up in health care meetings next week.'
"If they tried to force both of those at the same time it would just be unacceptable," Sessions said.
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