The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary committee launched the Federalist Society’s annual convention Thursday morning with a call to oppose President Barack Obama’s most liberal nominees for the federal bench.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said that the confirmation process this summer of Justice Sonia Sotomayor showed that conservatives have a superior approach to interpreting the law. He noted that Sotomayor declined to endorse the role of empathy in judging, as endorsed by Obama, and he said conservatives should keep pursuing a freewheeling, public debate on the role of federal judges.

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