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Washington, D.C.—It took just 21 minutes before the specter of Ricci v. DeStefano reared its head Monday as confirmation hearings began for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, brought up the case Monday morning as he launched a Republican effort to raise doubts over whether the nominee will rule impartially from the nation’s highest court.

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