Feinstein, Boxer backing Sotomayor

WASHINGTON — Sonia Sotomayor is winning strong backing from both of California's Democratic senators, who predict she'll win easy confirmation in her bid to join the U.S. Supreme Court.

At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein told Sotomayor that she has had a brilliant career and that she'd bring more federal judicial experience to the job than any Supreme Court justice in the past 100 years.

"You bring with you 29.5 years of very legal experience to the court," Feinstein said. "By this standard you are very well qualified."

Feinstein, one of two women on the committee, also told Sotomayor that she was "a very special woman" who had overcome adversity and disadvantage.

Feinstein told Fox News Sunday that she never discloses how she'll vote before a hearing. But she said that she's making an exception for Sotomayor and that she will "take enormous pride as a woman in voting for her."

In a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon, Sen. Barbara Boxer said Sotomayor is not only well-qualified but would bring empathy to the job. She said that judges and all elected officials should bring "every human feeling, including empathy," to their public lives.

"Do we want robots at the table? ... You have to bring emotion to everything in life," Boxer said.

Boxer said Sotomayor is a role model for women and Latinos and that Latinos in California are "absolutely glued" to the televised hearings.

She called Monday "a very historic day" and a day that proved once again that the American dream is real.

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