Schumer: Sotomayor Practically 'Filibuster-Proof'

President Obama's Supreme Court nominee is practically "filibuster-proof," a top Democratic senator on the Judiciary Committee said Sunday. 

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., praised Judge Sonia Sotomayor, saying she has a compelling history and moderate record. He said Sunday that Sotomayor's nomination is heading toward confirmation.

"I think she's virtually filibuster-proof when people learn her record and her story," he said. 

Schumer downplayed Sotomayor's controversial comments about her ethnic background and the bench. The judge has taken some heat for saying in 2001 that a "wise Latina woman" could often reach a better conclusion than a white man. Schumer said Sotomayor's comments about her personal experiences reflect a respect for the law while acknowledging her own background as the daughter of Puerto Rican parents. 

Schumer spoke to ABC's "This Week."

Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, also said Sunday that a filibuster is "unlikely," although he did not rule it out. 

"I feel like a filibuster should not be used readily and ought to be for extraordinary circumstances," the Alabama Republican said on NBC's "Meet the Press." 

"It's important that this nominee be given a fair hearing." 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.