Sotomayor explains 'where policy is made' remark

Sonia Sotomayor explained her controversial remark that appeals courts are "where policy is made."

That comment, Sotomayor said, refers to the role of appellate courts in establishing judicial precedent, as opposed district courts, which make judgments of fact.

An appellate court's decision sets a "precedent [that] has policy ramifications, because it binds not just the litigants in that case, it binds all litigants in similar cases," Sotomayor said at her confirmation hearing today.

The nominee claimed that video of her remarks posted online took the comment out of context.

"I think if my speech is heard outside of the minute and a half that YouTube's very clear that I'm talking about the policy ramifications of precedent," Sotomayor said.

Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsFunding bill rejected as shutdown nears Trump, Clinton discuss counterterrorism with Egyptian president GOP senators want immigration details on attack suspects MORE (R-Ala.), who questioned Sotomayor about the controversial remarks, was skeptical of Sotomayor's clarification.

"Judge, I would just say that I don't think it's that clear," Sessions said. "I looked at that tape several times."