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Washington, D.C.— As firefighter Frank Ricci made his way to the nation’s capital for his moment in the spotlight, U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch came to the his defense against an alleged “smear campaign.”

Ricci is set to take center stage Thursday as a witness against Judge Sonia Sotomayor in her Supreme Court confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The country will be watching.

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