Sessions: Sotomayor must explain policy remark

WASHINGTON (AP) - The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee says senators must carefully study Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's statement about federal appellate courts making legal policy.

Speaking on a nationally broadcast interview a day after President Barack Obama introduced Sotomayor (SUHN'-ya soh-toh-my-YOR'), Sen. Jeff Sessions said a statement she was recorded by videotape as making at a law seminar bothers him. She observed at one point in the appearance that federal appellate courts "make policy."

Republicans have said they wanted a jurist mostly interested in a tight construction or interpretation of the law, rather than in setting new legal thresholds or precedents. Sessions, an Alabama Republican, said GOP lawmakers must give Sotomayor "a fair opportunity to explain" the remark. But he said that "on its face, it's troubling."

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