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Sotomayor's questionnaire delivered to Senate

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Questionnaire returned on same day Sotomayor addresses Latina remark
  • Judge cites backing of players union in MLB strike as a significant case in her career
  • Questionnaire covers range of topics from summary of net worth to legal career
  • Sonia Sotomayor's assets worth almost $1.16 million, liabilities near $420,000
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A lengthy questionnaire filled out by Judge Sonia Sotomayor was delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday in preparation for Sotomayor's expected U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings this summer.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor has delivered her required questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary committee.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor has delivered her required questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary committee.

The questionnaire, required of all federal judicial nominees, covers a range of topics, including a summary of an individual's net worth and legal career.

Sotomayor has assets worth almost $1.16 million, including a home valued at almost $1 million, according to her responses, which were posted online by the Judiciary Committee.

Her financial liabilities total almost $420,000, including a mortgage totaling slightly less than $382,000, she wrote.

Asked to list the 10 most significant cases over which she has presided, Sotomayor cited, among other things, her backing of the players' union in a ruling that ended the 1994-95 Major League Baseball strike.

Sotomayor indicated in the questionnaire that she was first contacted by the White House about possibly filling a Supreme Court vacancy on April 27, four days before Justice David Souter publicly announced his intention to step down.

"I was [first] contacted by Gregory Craig, White House counsel ... with respect to the possibility of a future Supreme Court vacancy," Sotomayor wrote.

Since that time, she noted, she has had "near daily phone calls" with the White House counsel's office.

Sotomayor said she was interviewed over the phone on May 21 by Craig, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, senior presidential adviser David Axelrod and vice presidential chief of staff Ron Klain, among others.

She also met with President Obama in person on May 21, and had a phone interview with Vice President Joe Biden on May 24.

Obama announced her nomination two days later.

Sotomayor said she was never asked by anyone to give any assurances or opinions on specific issues pending before the court.

The questionnaire was delivered as Sotomayor spent her third day on Capitol Hill, meeting with senators who will ultimately decide whether she will become the first Hispanic to sit on the high court.

The Supreme Court nominee was again questioned about her "wise Latina" comments, made in a 2001 speech that has drawn sharp criticism as racially insensitive.

In that speech, Sotomayor said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, questioned Sotomayor about her remarks.

"The judge explained to me that she intended it to be an aspirational moment," Collins said. "She assured me that when deciding cases she needs to put aside any personal experiences that might color her decisions and, as she said it, 'the law is the law.' I was pleased to hear that."

When asked whether the issue had been to put to rest, even though Sotomayor made similar comments in another speech in 1994, Collins said she was still uncomfortable that the remarks were made by a sitting judge.

"I can understand her explanation that it was intended to be a statement to inspire young people and that it does not reflect how she approaches cases before her," Collins said. "But that's why I want to read more of her cases to make sure that is the case."

Sotomayer's questionnaire arrived nine days after her nomination -- the fastest completion in recent history, according to the administration.

Chief Justice John Roberts' questionnaire was delivered 13 days after his July 2005 nomination, while Justice Samuel Alito's was delivered 30 days after Alito was tapped in November 2005, the White House noted.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said Sotomayor had advanced the confirmation process with her promptness. He said the Senate should return the favor and quickly schedule hearings to consider her nomination.

All About Sonia SotomayorU.S. Supreme CourtBarack Obama

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