Discuss as:

Sotomayor responds on 'Latina' remark

From NBC's Ken Strickland

In a news conference with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) today, he told reporters that he asked Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor about her statement about a Latina woman reaching better conclusions than a white male.

Leahy told reporters he's usually reluctant to discuss his private conversations with the press, but got clearance from Sotomayor to talk about her answer to the question, which has sparked controversy.

"I asked her if she had any problem with me referring to her answer. And she said, 'None whatsoever," Leahy told reporters.

Leahy said her answer to the Latina statement was this: "What she said was, of course, one's life experience shapes who you are. But ultimately and completely -- she used those words -- ultimately and completely as a judge you follow the law. There's not one law for one race or another. There's not one law for one color or another."