Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor begin on Monday. Two New Haven firefighters and a Yale Law School professor have been called to testify.
Frank Ricci, lead plaintiff in the recent U.S. Supreme Court discrimination decision, and Ben Vargas, an Hispanic firefighter who joined the suit - were invited by Republicans to testify against Judge Sotomayor. They were among the 20 firefighters who challenged the city of New Haven’s decision to throw out results of a promotional exam, because no blacks scored high enough to move up in rank. Judge Sotomayor was on an appeals court panel that rejected the firefighter’s claim. The US Supreme Court reversed that ruling in late June.
Kate Stith, a professor of criminal and constitutional law at Yale Law School will also testify….in support of the nominee. Stith is the former Asst. US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Interestingly, she’s also married to Judge Jose Cabranes, Sotomayor’s former mentor. Cabranes served on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals with Sotomayor …and it was his dissent that may have raised a red flag for the Supreme Court to hear the New Haven case. He said the appeals court had “failed to grapple with issues of exceptional importance”.
Judge Sotomayor’s hearings are expected to last a week.