Sotomayor defends race ruling

2009-07-14 16:35

Washington - Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor said on Tuesday her decision in favour of a city in a race case involving white and black firefighters had been based on legal precedent.

"We were following precedent," she said of her ruling by a US appeals court panel that ruled the city of New Haven, Connecticut, could disregard a promotion exam because it yielded too few qualified black candidates.

The ruling was overturned by the US Supreme Court last month. Sotomayor told her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing that the Supreme Court decision applied a new legal standard on "how to look at this question in the future."