WASHINGTON - (AP) - Her confirmation all but assured, SoniaSotomayor pledged Monday to serve the "larger interest ofimpartial justice" rather than any narrower cause if she becomesthe first Hispanic on the U.S Supreme Court.

"My personal and professional experiences help me to listen andunderstand, with the law always commanding the result in everycase," Sotomayor told senators at a televised confirmationhearing.

The remarks about judicial philosophy were her first sincePresident Barack Obama nominated the New York-born and IvyLeague-educated veteran of 17 years on the federal bench. Theyappeared aimed at Republicans who have questioned her commitment toimpartiality in light of a 2001 remark that experience as a "wiseLatina" might give her an advantage over white males.