Republicans Want More Sotomayor Records

Sotomayor addressed women in the workplace on "GMA" in 1986.

June 18, 2009 — -- Though she has generally received high marks from senators of both parties, Republican lawmakers continue to express concern that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor hasn't provided complete records during the run up to her confirmation hearings.

Sotomayor has turned over dozens of recordings and boxes of documents, and is on track to meet with 72 senators by Friday, the end of her third week of meetings on Capitol Hill.

But while the one-on-one sessions have helped the lawmakers get to know her a bit better, Republicans charge that she hasn't produced any record of 98 speeches, roughly half of the comments she's made since the early 1990s.

One television clip has made its way out of the archives: A panel discussion on the challenges women face in the workplace that aired on "Good Morning America" in 1986.

In the segment, Sotomayor opened up to former "GMA" anchor Joan Lunden, telling her that the different work styles of men and women affect "the ability of women to get ahead in the workplace.

"I found in my experiences that it's not that men are consciously discriminating against promoting women, but I do believe that as people, we have self-images of what's good," she explained.

"And if you're a male who grew up professionally in a male-dominated profession, then your image of what a good lawyer is, is a male image."

Those comments touch on topics similar to other statements she's made in the past that fueled the conservative pushback against her, including statements that a "wise Latina" might make a better decision than a male counterpart, and a reference to herself as an "affirmative action baby."

In the 1986 appearance, Sotomayor also described some of the sacrifices working women make. At the time, she was an attorney at New York law firm Pavia & Harcourt and had not yet been nominated to the federal bench.

"Let me just say that it's part of the price," Sotomayor said of the toll professional success took on her relationships and marriage. "My divorce was not directly attributable to that, but I think there was a contributing factor in our final decision to split up."

"But there is a price," she continued. "The price is in terms of your personal life. A man who calls you three times and all three times you answer, 'I've got to work late, I'm flying to such and such a place,' after the third time, he begins thinking, 'Gee, maybe she's not interested.'"

Sotomayor Reaps Professional Success After Personal Sacrifice

Five years after that "GMA" appearance, Sotomayor's dedication to her work paid off, as President George H.W. Bush nominated her to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York.

Then in 1997 President Clinton tapped her to a spot on the federal appeals bench, on which she has now served for more than a decade.

But because she has a long history on the federal bench, Republicans claim that her confirmation hearings -- set to begin July 13 -- are being forced along to meet a deadline set by President Obama. They'd prefer more time to sift through Sotomayor's record.

Obama has stated that he'd like her confirmed by the lawmakers' August recess so she's ready to sit on the bench for the court's fall term, which starts in October.

Despite complaints, Sotomayor is widely expected to win confirmation with the support of all Democrats and some Republicans, barring any unforeseen new revelations.