Colorado Sen. Bennet says he’ll back Sotomayor |

Colorado Sen. Bennet says he’ll back Sotomayor

DENVER, Colorado – U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet says Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is a “bright and down-to-earth person” and that he’ll support her confirmation.

Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, met with Sotomayor in Washington for about 25 minutes Tuesday. Sotomayor has been meeting with senators since last week and is keeping a busy pace despite breaking her ankle on Monday after stumbling in an airport.

Bennet said Sotomayor hasn’t lost touch with how her day-to-day decisions affect people’s lives despite her long tenure on the bench. President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the federal bench in 1992, and President Bill Clinton elevated her to the appeals court in 1997.

“She has more federal judicial experience than any other nominee in the last 100 years, but she’s very down-to-earth,” Bennet said in a telephone interview.

The White House is pressing for her quick confirmation. Sotomayor would replace retiring Justice David Souter.

Bennet initially had expressed support for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, a former Colorado state attorney general and U.S. senator, to replace Souter before President Barack Obama chose Sotomayor.

In a letter to Obama, Bennet, Colorado U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and Gov. Bill Ritter had said Salazar would “add a new perspective to the court.”

But Bennet said Tuesday he was delighted with Sotomayor and would support her confirmation.

“Barring something that I don’t know about, which I don’t expect, the answer to that is yes,” he said.

Ritter appointed Bennet, a former Denver Public Schools superintendent, to Salazar’s Senate seat after Salazar was named interior secretary in January.

Udall, also a freshman senator, meets Sotomayor on Thursday. In a May statement, Udall said Sotomayor “is an extremely accomplished jurist, and she has a very compelling personal story. She appears to be a wise choice and a valuable addition to the Court.”

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