should be neutral. And she said that the principle of impartiality is a mere aspiration that she’s skeptical judges can achieve ‘in all or even in most cases.’
“I find it extremely troubling that Judge Sotomayor would question whether judges have the capacity to be neutral in ‘even most cases.’ ” But Democrats on Capitol Hill are pushing back at Republican accusations that Judge Sotomayor wouldn’t be an impartial member of the nation’s highest court.
On June 23, Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, joined representatives from the National Latino Peace Officers Association and the Hispanic National Bar Association at a news conference in support of the nominee.
“Judge Sotomayor’s nomination is proof that the ‘American Dream’ is in reach for everyone willing to work hard, play by the rules and give back to their communities, regardless of their ethnicity, gender or socioeconomic background,” said Mr. Menendez, who — like Judge Sotomayor — was born in New York City of Hispanic parents.
“It’s further proof of the deep roots the Hispanic community has in this country. But let’s be clear. We get to be proud of this nominee because she is exceptionally qualified. We get to be proud because of her vast knowledge of the law, her practical experience fighting crime, and her proven record of dedication to equal justice under law. Those are the reasons we’re proud, and they’re the reasons she should be confirmed without delay.”
Hispanic National Bar Association President Ramona Romero added that Mr. Obama’s nominee “has demonstrated intelligence, integrity, strength of character and a commitment to excellence.”
“If confirmed, she will bring these same qualities to her role as a Supreme Court justice. The confirmation of Judge Sotomayor will be an historic moment for all Americans to celebrate.” through August 2008. The aide was identified by her attorney as Cindy Hampton, who had worked for two Ensign political groups.
Mr. Ensign returned to Washington on June 22 after spending the previous six days in Nevada. He entered his Senate office in midafternoon, declining to take questions from reporters, according to the AP.
Officials at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said they would ask lawmakers to investigate the source and amount of any severance payments to Mrs. Hampton. They also said they would ask the committee to investigate whether her departure was voluntary from positions with his Battle Born Political Action Committee and Ensign for Senate.
CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan cited a letter from Mrs. Hampton’s husband, Doug Hampton, as one reason the case needed investigation. Mr. Hampton, a former top aide in Mr. Ensign’s Senate office, said the senator’s conduct “led to our dismissal in April of 2008.”
Such a dismissal would have violated a Senate rule that bars employment discrimination, Ms. Sloan said.
Ms. Sloan said the complaint is necessary because senators have shown little enthusiasm in the past for conducting sex-related investigations involving colleagues.