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Analysis: Sotomayor Has Been Very Cautious

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
She wouldn't commit to lobbying her potential colleagues on the Court about cameras there, she refused to talk about whether she'll recognize that the 2nd Amendment applies to the states, and she was very careful in answering questions about that takings case—I don't prejudge cases, she said.

She's touched upon almost all of the hot-button issues we expected, gun rights, abortion rights, the role of judges and empathy, her Wise Latina comments but mostly only scratching the surface. It's clear Republicans on the Committee are going to return to those topics as the day wears on.

She hasn't made any mistakes yet, hasn't had the meltdown Sen. Graham talked about yesterday. She's been very cautious and like her recent predecessors gave not a whiff of a hint of a scent of how she might rule in future abortion or gun rights cases.

So far she's explained patiently her remarks about the role of empathy in decision making, on her Wise Latina comments and other controversial statements but when it comes to questions about how she might handle cases in the future she has been purposely vague and non-committal, just like nominees Roberts and Alito were.

Sotomayor Explains "Wise Latina" Comment

Live Video and Analysis of the hearing

Andrew Cohen is CBS News' Chief Legal Analyst and Legal Editor. CourtWatch is his new blog with analysis and commentary on breaking legal news and events. For columns on legal issues before the beginning of this blog, click here. You can also follow him on Twitter.