WASHINGTON--Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor met with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Tuesday and told him despite her crack about being a wise "Latina," she assured him the law would be followed.
Sotomayor's visit with Durbin was just one of a string of 10 stops throughout the day with top senators. Durbin said the two chatted about their fathers dying when they were youths.
Durbin brought up Sotomayor's now controversial statement about superior Latina judgement.
Related Durbin, "I asked her about the "wise Latina" statement, which seems to have received more attention than almost anything she's said. And she said, "It's just one part of me." She said, "I'm many different things." And she said, "It -- basically it means that that's part of my life experience that I bring to my judgment." She said, "Maybe it means that with this background I'm a better listener; I listen for certain things." But she said, "Ultimately, it -- it's not going to decide any case for me. The law will make that decision; Constitution will be followed."
"But every one of us is a sum of all the parts of our life experience.
"And she mentioned that, of course, was important to her. She said race and gender don't take a back seat to good judgment when it comes to cases before her."
SOTOMAYOR ON JURORS
Durbin also said they talked about how some jurors come to trials ill-prepared for the challenge.
Said Durbin, "We talked about some of the aspects of the law that she had seen, and what she thought we needed more of. We talked about the need for more civic education in this country, so that people understand our system of justice -- and system of government, for that matter -- and how concerned she is about jurors in the courtroom and whether they really understand the system well enough to play their most important role, making the final decision on the fate of the parties that come before the court."