Pity the U.S. Supreme Court nominee about to face 19 senators, each with a set of issues, some predictable, some not, and many far removed from the day-to-day work of a justice — or for that matter, a judge or lawyer. The predictable menu of issues is already being written for Judge Sonia Sotomayor by senators and special interest groups. Perennial favorites include abortion, the scope of the right to privacy, the death penalty and when stare decisis should prevail.

Sotomayor’s own record will add to the list. Her statements about appellate courts’ making policy and the experiences of a Latina judge versus those of a white male judge are certain to provoke intense questioning about judicial activism. And her participation in the abbreviated panel ruling against white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., will trigger scrutiny of her views on affirmative action.

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