Sotomayor hearings continue with testimony from firefighters

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Today, two firefighters from New Haven, Connecticut step from the audience to the witness table.

They’ll testify against Sonia Sotomayor.

Lieutenant Benjamin Vargas is one of them.

“What was done to us was wrong and we feel that every one should know our story and why it was wrong and what was done to us,” said Vargas.

Sotomayor was on the court panel that threw out a promotions test white firefighters passed, but their black counterparts failed.

Late last month the Supreme Court reversed that ruling.

Senator Orrin Hatch said, “You’re under lot of pressure here.”

Republicans pushed on it Tuesday. “These are cases where people are discriminated against,” said Hatch.

Judge Sotomayor has said on that case and in another, upholding a weapons ban on nunchuks in New York, that she was following high court precedent at the time.

“Did the state have a rational basis for prohibiting the possession of this kind of an instrument?” said Sotomayor.

And the judge said she saw no litmus test for her nomination, on any issue including abortion.

“I was asked no questions by anyone, including the President, about my views on any specific legal issue,” said Sotomayor.

Judge Sotomayor has never ruled on abortion.

GOP senator and doctor, Tom Coburn asked what if technology someday let babies born dangerously prematurely be saved who could not be now? Would that change abortion law?

Senator Tom Coburn said, “All I’m asking is, should that have any bearing?”

Sonia Sotomayor said “I can’t answer that in the abstract. ”

Democrats expect her q-and-a to wrap up today.

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