Possible Republican response to Supreme Court nominee

Conservative lawmakers responded quickly to President Obama's nomination of federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ron Elving, senior Washington Editor for National Public Radio, told KPCC's Larry Mantle that the opposition reflects differences in judicial philosophy.

Ron Elving: "I think that it's fair to say that Republicans are upholding a principle of strict adherence to the document of the constitution, the letter of the law if you will, and we've already heard quite a number of the Republican senators who are going to be handling theses proceedings on the judiciary committee talking about applying the letter of the law and not trying to interpret what the law, that is to say the Constitution, might mean in a modern context."

Some Republicans have questioned the way Sotomayor, a Latina, has decided on affirmative action cases. She ruled against a group of white Connecticut firefighters who'd sued their department claiming racial discrimination.

The Supreme Court expects to rule on that case this session. If the U.S. Senate approves her nomination, Sotomayor would replace associate justice David Souter, who plans to retire from the court this summer.