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Sotomayor hearings: Charles Schumer defines 'empathy'


Sen. Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat who presented Judge Sonia Sotomayor to his colleagues on Monday, took them to task just now (at least the Republican ones) for focusing on a few lines from her speeches, rather than her judicial decisions.

“No colleague has pointed to a single case in which you have attempted to change existing law or otherwise,” said Schumer, who said he would spend his time talking about her decisions, not her speeches, to prove that she is not guided by her heart, but by the law.

“From everything I’ve read and everything I’ve heard you say, you put rule of law first,” Schumer said. “I want to put it on the record.

“I want to talk to you about what ‘empathy’ means. I believe that empathy is the opposite of indifference, the opposite of, say, having ice water in your veins,  rather than the opposite of neutrality, and I think that’s the mistaken concept that some of you have used,” he said, addressing fellow committee members.

To Sotomayor, he said, “Will you commit to us today that you will give every litigant before the court a fair shake, and not let your sympathies toward any litigant overrule what the law requires?”

Sotomayor was brief: “That commitment I make, and I have made for 17 years.”

-- Robin Abcarian

Sen.Charles Schumer (D-NY) (R) makes his opening statement during the confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor before the Senate Judiciary Committee July 13, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Comments () | Archives (3)

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Despite her elegant lip service, to her objectivism regarding the law,she has proved by her numerous statements she is just the opposite. She can say whatever she wants but if she gets appointed she will vote to legislate change for minorities rather than judge rightly. But shes just like Obama in that regard...she is a hard core liberal bent on change at any price.Even if that is serving on the highest court in the land and forcing change to come thropugh the Supreme Court. Lets all pray she doesnt get through the hearings.

Here's what gets me. A person that represents everything that's right with our nation, is being raked over the coals by people who represent everthing that's wrong with the nation. I hope I never see another republican put in office as long as I live..

I find it interesting that the New York Senator likes to pick and choose " the rule of law to follow". He certainly does not want tofollow the rule of law when it comes to immigration


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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