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Sotomayor Confirmation May Be Headed to Swift Vote

With Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's testimony complete, analysts Marcia Coyle and Tom Goldstein join Judy Woodruff to examine how the judge fared in the spotlight.

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    Judy Woodruff, who anchored our live coverage of the hearing, takes the story from there.


    To assess Judge Sotomayor's four days of testimony and her prospects for confirmation, I'm joined by Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal. She's been with me all week to provide analysis of the hearings for our PBS special coverage.

    And Tom Goldstein, he's a Supreme Court advocate and the founder of

    Thank you both for being here. Now, Marcia, what — I'm going to ask both of you this — what did the judge need to do this week? And did she accomplish it?

  • MARCIA COYLE, National Law Journal:

    Well, I think, as Senator Graham said in his opening statement, that unless she had a complete meltdown, she was going to be confirmed. Well, she did not have a complete meltdown, not even when the air conditioning broke down in the hearing room.

    She knew going into this hearing, based on comments and articles that had been written about her, that she was going to have to address speeches she had made, several decisions that she was involved in that had become controversial, and, finally, emphasize her 17-year record. And she did all of that.

    To what degree of satisfaction, at least to opponents and certain Republicans on the committee, remains to be seen, but she did everything that she had to do.


    Tom Goldstein, overall, how did she do?


    Well, she, I think, performed admirably. Her first goal had to be get confirmed, to be honest, but get confirmed, and she's clearly going do that.

    Remember, as well, that this is her introduction to the country, and I think the takeaway message that Americans who won't see her again, really, in the public spotlight much is that she's thoughtful and she's patient.

    They did not learn a lot about her jurisprudence. There wasn't a real desire to educate the country about the law, I'd say.