The debate over Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court took place against a backdrop of tension between the Democratic Congress and Sotomayor’s new colleagues.

Since January, Democratic lawmakers have pushed legislation that would reverse the effects of several recent high-profile decisions, many of them driven by the Court’s five-member conservative majority. The Democrats want to allow state tort lawsuits over medical devices, restore a per se ban on vertical price-fixing, lower the standard for pleadings in civil suits and allow suits against aiders and abettors of securities fraud, to name only a few proposals.

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