Sotomayor, under some fairly effective questioning from Sen. Jeff Sessions, says that her “Wise Latina” speech was all about the effort to examine biases so you can put them aside. I’m with Tom Goldstein on this one: “On life experience, she thinks that judges need to examine her feelings so that she can put them aside. (Sorry, the speech kinda sounded like the opposite.)” Yeah, sort of. And she gave it in one form or another over and over again. Sessions has actually zeroed in on an aspect of the speech which directly takes issue with the notion of judicial impartiality. He’s making his point rather effectively.
The problem with her new-found fondness for judicial impartiality and restraint is that she has a long record of saying the opposite. If senators get the sense she is not being forthright, then this becomes not just a philosophy problem but a credibility one.