Julia Tarver Mason, who spent a year clerking for Sotomayor when she was a federal judge, told CBS' The Early Show Wednesday that Sotomayor "is not someone who is going to try to reach a particular result in a particular case. She calls them straight down the middle, just like she sees them."
Republicans have voiced early criticism of President Barack Obama's selection to replace Justice David Souter, with some questioning whether she lets personal feelings and politics overshadow the law in her decisions.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh went so far as to call Sotomayor a "reverse racist" for her decision ruling against mainly white firefighters who had filed a reverse discrimination suit against New Haven, Conn.
Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez also asked Mason about a speech Sotomayor made at the University of California at Berkeley in 2001, during which she said "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
Mason defended the comments, saying they referred to diversity on the court. "Diversity of life experience and perspective is very important and few of us would argue with that.
"I think what she was trying to convey in that comment was that we all bring our life experiences with us, but when she decides a case, she decides it based on the law, as that's appropriate."
- Liberals Concerned About Sotomayor's Abortion Views
- W.H. Urged To Address "Racist" Charge
- Who Could Lose In A Confirmation Vote?
- Rigorous Questioning Hasn't Fazed Nominee
- Battle Lines Form Over High Court Pick
- Limbaugh, Gingrich: Sotomayor Is "Racist"
- Ad Supporting Sotomayor Released
- Declan McCullagh: Gun Rights Groups Are Wary Of Sotomayor
- Former Clerk: Sotomayor's A "Legal Purist"
- Sotomayor Unites Disparate Hispanic Groups
- WhiteHouse.gov Transparency? Not In Supreme Court Pick
- Declan McCullagh: Nomination Renews Abortion Debate
- Jeff Greenfield: A Political Matter
- Mark Knoller: How Obama Picked Sotomayor
- Steve Chaggaris: Obama Pick Leaves GOP In Difficult Spot
- Obama Taps Sonia Sotomayor For High Court
- Sonio Sotomayor's Biography
- Early GOP Reaction
- Full Text: Obama And Sotomayor's Comments
- Do Judges "Make Policy"?
- Sotomayor - A Three-Part Harmony
- The First Day Of The Rest Of Her Life
- When Worlds Collide - Prop 8 and Sotomayor
- More CourtWatch
- Obama And Sotomayor
- Sotomayor A Hometown Hero
- Will She Get The Job?
- Sotomayor In Depth
- Analysis: Bob Schieffer | Wyatt Andrews | Andrew Cohen | John Dickerson
- Photo Essay: Sonia Sotomayor
- Timeline Of Sotomayor's Life
Andrew Cohen's CourtWatch Blog