WASHINGTON --- Day one of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination hearing raised eyebrows when her opening statement contrasted with her well-known past opinions.
Sotomayor before the hearings:
Race, gender, and ethnicity "may and will make a difference in our judging."
The "court of appeals is where policy is made."
"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
Discriminated and ruled against New Haven firefighters in Ricci because of the color of their skin.
Sotomayor's opening statement:
"In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law."
"The task of a judge is not to make the law -- it is to apply the law."
"My personal and professional experiences help me listen and understand, with the law always commanding the result in every case."
"Throughout my seventeen years on the bench, I have witnessed the human consequences of my decisions. Those decisions have been made not to serve the interests of any one litigant, but always to serve the larger interest of impartial justice."
Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) President Wendy Wright said, "Sotomayor's new 'enlightenment' highlights the radicalism of her previous statements. She suddenly seems to know the proper role of a judge. Yet she purposely violated that responsibility to advance her ideology when the Supreme Court was not in sight."
Mario Diaz, Esq., CWALAC's Policy Director for Legal Issues, said, "Judge Sotomayor knew then, and recognizes now, what we have said all along, that a judge is to follow the law regardless of race and gender. Her opening statement at the hearings not only condemned her own record, it made all those senators we heard defending these unconstitutional statements look foolish.
"If Judge Sotomayor was to follow her new-found wisdom, she could not even support herself based on her record."