Obama urges swift Sotomayor approval

May 30, 2009 at 8:01 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 30 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama called Saturday for a swift confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama urged the Congress, which returns from recess next week, to begin Sotomayor's confirmation hearings "without delay" minus the "political posturing and ideological brinksmanship that has bogged down this process, and Congress, in the past."

"Judge Sotomayor ought to be on the bench when the Supreme Court decides what cases to hear this year and I'm calling on Democrats and Republicans to be thorough, and timely in dealing with this nomination," Obama said, adding that he's "confident" the 54-year-old federal appeals court judge will be confirmed despite efforts by unnamed opponents to "(play) the usual political games, pulling a few comments out of context to paint a distorted picture of Judge Sotomayor's record."

A 2001 remark in which she said a Latina judge could reach a "better conclusion" than a white male judge who hasn't had the same experiences has resulted in heavy criticism of Sotomayor from Republican opponents, but in his address Obama asserted she is in fact "unbiased."

"Her record makes clear that she is fair, unbiased, and dedicated to the rule of law," the president said.

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