SOTOMAYOR

POSTED: Monday, July 13, 2009 - 9:29am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:24pm

The nation's first Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court will be facing some tough questions...

After weeks of courtesy calls on Capitol Hill, Judge Sonia Sotomayor is ready to fight for a seat on the Supreme Court.

President Obama called to give her a private pep talk from the Oval Office.

On the talk shows, Democrats were predicting a slam-dunk confirmation.

Sen. Chuck Schumer said.” And I think there's a very good chance she's going to get as many if not more votes than Judge Roberts got, which was 78. She has wowed people."

"She said: 'I'm not going to be playing for the Hispanic team, the Democratic team, the Republican team. I'm going to be playing for the Constitution team.' I don't know what more you could ask of a judge,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy.

But Republicans want to know more about her 2001 comment that a wise Latina judge might make better decisions than a white one.

Sen. John Cornyn said, "I think that's a fair area to question her about, because certainly the rule of law depends on the same rules applying to each one of us, no matter our color, our sex or ethnicity."

Critics also point to her ruling in a Connecticut racial discrimination case, where white firefighters were denied promotions because no African-American candidates qualified.

Last month the Supreme Court overturned her ruling, but supporters say she was following the law , not making it.

Today Judge Sonia Sotomayor has the chance to defend herself.

She is President Obama's first Supreme Court nominee and is hoping to replace Justice David Souter.

Republicans want to know her views on race and justice.

But many groups are hoping the judge will clarify her positions on other hot-button issues, especially abortion rights.

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