By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — Former FBI director Louis Freeh testified Thursday at the hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, saying he mentored her as as a fellow U.S. District judge in New York in the early 1990s and found her to be the kind of “judge that I think we would all be proud of.”
Freeh, 59, went on to speak of Sotomayor, 55, in laudatory terms. The following includes some of his remarks.
“My association with her began in 1992. She was a new judge on the Southern District, and we had this tradition where the second newest judge would mentor the new judge.”
“Some of us didn’t think it was the wisest rule to have, since I had about nine months on the bench when she was entrusted to my care, so to speak.”
“And I actually sat with her in court. I sat with her during trials. I helped review opinions that she asked me to look at. My law clerks were encamped with her law clerks.”
“And I guess what I want to communicate to you in a very short period remaining is, you know, the enormous judicial integrity and commitment to finding the facts, to being open-minded, to being fair.
“She struggled and deliberated in making sure she had the facts, making sure she had the right law, following the law, and being the kind of judge that I think we would all be proud of.”
“You know, speeches are important, and it’s great the way you all have considered that so carefully. But, you know, when you enter the courtroom and you put the bench on, just as you assume the authority when you take your commitment, there’s a whole different set of influences and immense power and influence that takes over.”
“And when she’s been on the bench, when she’s written, when she’s argued, the way she’s conducted herself, I think we can very safely predict this is going to be an outstanding judge, with all the qualities I know that you would want. So I urge you all to support her.”