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Broad Praise as Sotomayor Questioning Ends

As Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor wrapped up her final day of testimony, even some critics voiced praise for her judicial record.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    The Senate Judiciary Committee completed its questioning today of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. And even some of her critics acknowledged confirmation by the full Senate is pretty much assured.

    NewsHour congressional correspondent Kwame Holman has our lead story report.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    On this third and final day of the questioning, Judge Sotomayor won praise from several Republicans, among them, South Carolina's Lindsey Graham, who has said he might vote in favor of confirmation.

    Today, he had a hopeful appraisal of Sotomayor as he talked about how she might handle a gun rights case if it comes before the high court.

    SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), South Carolina: I don't know how you're going to come out on that case, because I think fundamentally, Judge, you're able, after all these years of being a judge, to embrace a right that you may not want for yourself, to allow others to do things that are not comfortable to you, but for the group they're necessary.

    That is my hope for you. That's what makes you, to me, more acceptable as a judge, and not an activist, because an activist would be a judge who would be champing at the bit to use this wonderful opportunity to change America through the Supreme Court by taking their view of life and imposing it on the rest of us.

    I think and believe, based on what I know about you so far, that you're broad-minded enough to understand that America is bigger than the Bronx, it's bigger than South Carolina.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    In fact, Graham said, as a judge, Sotomayor has been "generally in the mainstream," but he made clear that on some issues he still has strong disagreements with the nominee.

  • SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM:

    And you have said some things that just bug the hell out of me. Last question on the wise Latino woman comment. To those who may be bothered by that, what do you say?

  • JUDGE SONIA SOTOMAYOR, Supreme Court Justice Nominee:

    I regret that I have offended some people. I believe that my life demonstrates that that was not my intent, to leave the impression that some have taken from my words.

  • SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM:

    You know what, Judge? I agree with you. Good luck.

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