The biggest show in town next week in Washington will kick off at 10 a.m. Monday, when the Senate Judiciary Committee begins its confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, and the witness list is big and diverse enough to include New York's mayor, a former FBI director and a former Major League Baseball pitcher.
If confirmed -- as is widely expected -- Sotomayor, 55, would be the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the nation's highest court.
Democrats said they've scheduled the appellate judge's mentors, confidantes and other allies, including civil rights leaders and several witnesses who come with GOP credentials. The goal: to portray Sotomayor as a mainstream judge with fans across the ideological spectrum.
Among their 15 witnesses are Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, her first boss after law school; New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who ran as a Republican but became an independent in 2007; Louis Freeh, the former FBI director first named to the federal bench by President George H.W. Bush;
The Democrats also intend to call pitcher David Cone, for his experiences during the 1990s players strike, which Sotomayor had a hand in ending.
Among the GOP representatives are Sandy Froman, a National Rifle Association board member and past NRA president who has urged senators to oppose Sotomayor, calling her hostile to the Second Amendment. Also on the Republican list is Charmaine Yoest, head of the anti-abortion rights group Americans United for Life, which says Sotomayor has a "pro-abortion agenda."
The GOP list also includes New Haven, Conn., firefighter Frank Ricci, a white employee whose reverse discrimination claim was rejected by Sotomayor in an appeals court decision.
The following is the witness list released by the committee:
American Bar Association Witnesses
- Kim Askew, Chair of the Standing Committee
- Mary Boies, Primary Reviewer
- Michael Bloomberg, Mayor, City of New York
- Chuck Canterbury, National President, Fraternal Order of Police
- David Cone, former Major League Baseball pitcher
- JoAnne A. Epps, Dean, Temple University Beasley School of Law
- Louis Freeh, former Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Michael J. Garcia, former U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York
- Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
- Patricia Hynes, President, New York City Bar Association
- Dustin McDaniel, Attorney General, State of Arkansas
- Robert Morgenthau, District Attorney, New York County, New York
- Ramona Romero, National President, Hispanic National Bar Association
- Congressman Jose E. Serrano, New York Sixteenth District
- Theodore M. Shaw, Professor, Columbia Law School
- Kate Stith, Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law, Yale Law School
- Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
- Linda Chavez, President, Center for Equal Opportunity
- Sandy Froman, Esq., former President, National Rifle Association of America
- Dr. Stephen Halbrook, Attorney
- Tim Jefires, Founder, P7 Enterprises
- Peter Kirsanow, Commissioner, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
- David Kopel, Esq., Independence Institute
- John McGinnis, Professor, Northwestern University School of Law
- Neomi Rao, Professor, George Mason University School of Law
- Frank Ricci, Director of Fire Services, ConnectiCOSH
- David Rivkin, Esq., Partner, Baker Hostetler
- Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Professor, Georgetown University School of Law
- Ilya Somin, Professor, George Mason University School of Law
- Lieutenant Ben Vargas, New Haven Fire Department
- Dr. Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life
The Associated Press contributed to this report.