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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Sanders on Sotomayor

Senator Bernie Sanders had his 20-minute sit-down with Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor on Thursday and came away from the meeting with what he said were "good positive feelings."

Sanders had said when Sotomayor was first nominated by President Barack Obama that he wanted assurances that Sotomayor as a justice would be an advocate for preserving civil liberties in this post 9/11 world. Apparently, that's what he got from her.

"At this point, she impresses me as someone who is a strong advocate for constitutional rights and the rule of law," Sanders said. "I wanted to get her views on how you protect constitutional rights while you are fighting terrorism. That's a tough balance."

Sanders said he would wait to see how she did in hearings next month before the Senate Judiciary Committee before deciding whether he will vote for her to join the Supremes, but it's hard to see how he'd not give her nomination a thumbs up.

BTW, Sanders said Sotomayor had kind things to say about her visits to Vermont and to Burlington, sometimes as a friend of the late Judge Fred Parker, who sat on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals with her.

-- Sam Hemingway

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