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The White House Is Putting Sotomayor Through the Wringer - For Her Own Good

It's a tradition that all recent Supreme Court nominees have gone through: the torture chamber. 

Before the confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee begin, each nominee undergoes a series of offensive questions, insults and general disrespect from White House staffers, Justice Department attorneys and political strategists.  The exercise is designed to thicken the nominee's skin and get them used to the personalities of the senators who will be doing the questioning when the real confirmations get underway. 

There's no set schedule for the mock hearings, but Bush administration officials report going through 16 all-day sessions that closely tracked the likely schedule of the confirmation hearings.

No one would speak on the record about Sotomayor's exact preparations, though.

But whatever the plans are, it's a safe bet that Sotomayor is sticking to them.  The last nominee to skip out on any of the mock confirmation sessions was Robert Bork, who bombed in his confirmation hearing and had his nomination rejected.