By Ian Swanson - 06/19/09 07:45 PM EDT
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has resigned from the all-women Belizean Grove club.
Sotomayor said she did does not believe the club practices discrimination and that her membership in the group, which meets once a year and usually in Belize, does not violate the Judicial Code of Ethics.
The letter was sent to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the panel’s ranking Republican. The documents were released by the Judiciary panel Friday evening.
Sotomayor also sent Leahy and Sessions a list of events taken from a handwritten calendar Sotomayor used to keep her schedule between 1992 and 1995. The calendar included several entries of events she attended during that period where she gave speeches.
Sessions had warned Leahy he would delay Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing if she did not provide information on about 50 or more speeches he said were missing.
“I told him that I don’t see how we should go forward with the hearing if we’re missing important records and documents,” Sessions told The Hill.
Sotomayor said she had been unable to find drafts or recordings of the speeches, adding that the handwritten calendar notes do not provide descriptions of her remarks.
President Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee has come under some fire for statements in past speeches. Republicans have asked her to explain a statement in a speech in 2001 at the University of California at Berkeley in which she said “a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences … would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
Sotomayor’s involvement in the Belizean Grove club had also drawn some criticism. She had defended it earlier this week, saying she knew of no men who had tried to become members.
The club is considered a response to the all-male Bohemian Club, which meets annually in Northern California.
Senators from both parties have predicted Sotomayor will be confirmed by the Senate.
This story was updated at 8:23 p.m.