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Choose judge based on rulings

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There are important elements to consider from President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination to the highest court in the land. First we need to acknowledge that this is one of the most consequential acts of presidential power. There is no doubt that Judge Sotomayor has an interesting life story, but that should be totally irrelevant in the Senate hearings. Also immaterial is whether Sotomayer is a committed Catholic or not. Her judicial philosophy and her position on the function of judges, her understanding, respect, and reverence for the U.S. Constitution are of paramount concern and the senators should major on those issues in their questioning. What has her judicial record been on these key issues? That very Constitution forbids a religious test for federal offices, and while we should care about her spiritual vitality, it is not grounds for consideration in this confirmation hearing. What has Judge Sotomayor done, how has she ruled on key issues in the judgeships she has held — more time than any modern nominee. That is the true measurement of any candidate, not their own personal biases or prejudices. How she measured up in the past will tell us what she will do in the future. Dale Smith, Auburn