Will Sotomayor Legislate from the Bench?

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As President Barack Obama named Judge Sonia Sotomayor as his first nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Tuesday, conservatives raised concerns over her judicial philosophy.

The American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative group known for its work on religious rights cases, says Sotomayor's comment that the "court of appeals is where policy is made" hints that she may overstep her powers as a justice and begin legislating from the bench.

The ACLJ's Jay Sekulow spoke with Pat Robertson about Sotomayor's record on The 700 Club, Wednesday. Click play to hear his assessment of her judicial leanings.

Judicial activism, or ruling based on personal beliefs rather than the law, has long been a concern among conservatives, mainly because it opens the door for new laws to be created-- as Roe v. Wade did for abortion rights.

"This nomination raises serious questions about the issue of legislating from the bench," said ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow.

"We're hopeful that the members of the Senate will ask the tough questions about her judicial philosophy and temperament when the confirmation hearings get underway this summer," he added.  "The American people deserve to fully understand what kind of Justice is being nominated to serve on the nation's highest court for decades to come."

It's hard to predict just how Sotomayer will rule on tough issues like abortion, gay marriage and religious rights, since she has had few rulings on the hot topics in the past.

Sekulow is convinced, however, that her perceived stance on judicial activism is enough to start a national debate.

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