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« Reply #405 on: June 29, 2009, 04:34:34 pm »

                                 White House: Court ruling shows nominee not biased

Jun 29, 2009     

- Spinning a Supreme Court decision in its favor, the White House said Monday that the justices' reversal of a ruling that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge proves that she follows judicial precedent.
The high court ruled that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race.

Presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs said the ruling should put to rest claims by Sotomayor 's Senate critics that she's an activist judge.

"One thing is clear, that the ruling by Judge Sotomayor was based on the precedent of the Second Circuit. ... The Supreme Court clearly had a new interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act," Gibbs said.

"Some of the very concerns that members of the Senate have expressed about judicial activism seem to be, at the very least, upside down in this case. Her ruling on the Second Circuit denotes that she's a follower of precedent," Gibbs said.

He said he was not concerned that the reversal would cause her trouble in Senate confirmation hearings, and he doesn't see anything in the decision that would prevent her from assuming her Supreme Court seat.

"There's little political significance to whatever the court decided today in terms of Judge Sotomayor except to render a fairly definitive opinion that she follows judicial precedent and that she doesn't legislate from the bench," Gibbs said.

Gibbs said the White House wants Sotomayor to be sworn in and seated by Sept. 9, when the new court will hear a First Amendment case.

"We want her to be an active participant" to avoid the possibility of a divided court, Gibbs said.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
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