Sotomayor will now face confirmation hearings in front of the Senate's Judiciary Committee, where lawmakers will examine her record and ask questions on her legal philosophy. The committee will then vote on whether to recommend Sotomayor for a vote before the entire Senate.
The Online NewsHour recently spoke with an expert on the judicial system about the details of the confirmation process, notable confirmation hearings of the past and the role of the federal appeals court system. Sheldon Goldman has taught political science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst since 1965 and has written numerous books and articles on the American judicial system, including "Picking Federal Judges."
Listen to Goldman discuss the confirmation process:
Lesson Plan: Teaching the Supreme Court Confirmation Process