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Liveblogging Sotomayor Hearings – Day 1 (Part 2)

3:02 p.m. – The nominee ends her statement in less than the ten minutes she was allotted. Leahy calls a break in the hearing until 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. Liveblogging will resume then. In the meantime, check back at the AUL Blog for more commentary on the Sotomayor nomination and other life issues in the news today.

3:01 p.m. – Sotomayor speaks about how the Constitution made her family’s American dream possible. Between the lines, she is again attempting to address criticisms that she would not uphold the Constitution.

2:59 p.m. – [Back online after technical difficulties:] Sotomayor is giving her statement now: “In each case that I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand.” This is her way of addressing accusations of judicial activism.

2:33 p.m. – Another eruption in the audience. Leahy requests that audience members creating a disturbance be removed. Several people are shown the door.

2:31 p.m. – Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) begins his statement. He seems to be making a great effort to look senatorial.

2:19 p.m. – Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) begins his statement by emphasizing the importance of diversity. For me, as an American, it is disturbing to see how much her race is brought front and center by her supporters. What happened to Obama’s claim during his presidential candidacy that our nation had to move beyond race?

2:15 p.m. – Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) takes aim at “empty code words like ‘judicial activist,'” echoing previous comments by senators supporting her. As I wrote earlier, supporters of the nominee realize that charges of her judicial activism are causing Americans to question her fitness for the court. AUL’s “Top Ten Questions for Judge Sotomayor” at AskSotomayor.com delineates why Sotomayor’s past support for judicial interference in the democratic process is a genuine concern.

2:05 p.m. – Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) highlights how Judiciary Committee members benefit from their “different background and perspectives.” Yet another example of how Sotomayor’s supporters are playing up her race and their belief that she has “empathy,” which is what Obama said was his main criteria for a Supreme Court judge.