The Alabama senator leading the Republican Party's vetting of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor said the American tradition of impartial courts is "under attack" and the pivotal question in her nomination should be whether she allows personal views to color her decisions as a judge.
Delivering the Republican Party's weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Sen. Jeff Sessions didn't say if he thinks Sotomayor crosses that line. But he raised questions that reflect a growing chorus of Republican criticism that Sotomayor sees her role as something more than an impartial umpire.
Republicans have recently seized on speeches in which Sotomayor said she hoped a wise woman or Latina "with the richness of her experiences" would make better, more compassionate decisions in court than a white man.
While he didn't specifically mention those remarks, Sessions asked "if a judge is allowed to let his or her feelings for one party in the case sway his decision, hasn't that judge then demonstrated a bias against the other party?"