WASHINGTON (AP) - Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor stoutly denied racial bias Tuesday at her Senate confirmation hearing and said an oft-criticized remark about her Hispanic heritage affecting her decisions was a rhetorical device gone awry.
An attempted play on words "fell flat" in a speech in 2001, Sotomayor told Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., referring to remarks in which she suggested that a "wise Latina woman" would usually reach a better conclusion than a white male.
"It was bad because it left an impression that I believed that life experiences commanded a result in a case, but that's clearly not what I do as a judge," Sotomayor said.
Sessions, the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee, sounded unconvinced.
"As a judge who has taken this oath, I am very troubled that you would repeatedly over a decade or more make statements" like the one in 2001, he said.
See Wednesday's Post-Journal for a full account of the confirmation hearing.