SO­TOMAYOR KU­DOS

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

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.

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