OPIOID SERIES:

Sotomayor's clerks lobby Senate leadership

Forty -five of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's former clerks have written Senate leadership to offer their "enthusiastic and wholehearted support" for her confirmation.

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In a letter distributed by the White House, Sotomayor's former clerks laud her "indisputably stellar" professional qualifications and describe at length their admiration for her personal background. The letter comes as Sotomayor prepares to start sitting down with senators this week to make her case for a seat on the Supreme Court.

"As former law clerks to Judge Sotomayor, each of us can attest to her intellectual prowess, extraordinary work ethic and commitment to the rule of law," the former clerks wrote.  "Working for Judge Sotomayor is an awe-inspiring experience."

The letter was written to Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidGOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees Dems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination The Memo: Teens rankle the right with gun activism MORE (Nev.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel GOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees Trump has not invited Democrats, media to state dinner: report MORE (Ky.), Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCongress should build on the momentum from spending bill Overnight Tech: Zuckerberg grilled by lawmakers over data scandal | What we learned from marathon hearing | Facebook hit with class action lawsuit | Twitter endorses political ad disclosure bill | Uber buys bike share Overnight Cybersecurity: Zuckerberg faces grilling in marathon hearing | What we learned from Facebook chief | Dems press Ryan to help get Russia hacking records | Top Trump security adviser resigning MORE (Vt.) and Ranking Member Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Memo: Trump lowers the temperature on Mueller probe Sessions warned White House he could quit if Trump fired Rosenstein: report Impeaching Rosenstein? Some Republicans are talking about it MORE (Ala.). It was also copied to the rest of the members of the judiciary committee.

The letter contains now familiar White House talking points, used first by President Obama when announcing his nominee, that Sotomayor, if confirmed, "would bring more federal judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any Supreme Court Justice in a century." Sotomayor never loses "sight of the real-world impact of her decisions," the letter said.

"Our view of Judge Sotomayor mirrors her reputation among her colleagues on the bench and among members of the bar who have practiced before her, who widely respect her intellectual dynamism, collegiality and balanced, fair jurisprudence," the letter reads.

The White House said the letter represents every clerk who ever worked for Sotomayor with the exception of four; two of whom couldn't "be found in time" and two who had professional conflicts. 

Sotomayor is scheduled to begin sitting down with Senate and committee leadership on Tuesday.

This story was updated at 10:55 a.m.