WASHINGTON - President Obama expressed confidence yesterday that efforts to scuttle Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court would fail despite intensified scrutiny of her judicial career.

He said senators should work quickly to elevate the U.S. appeals judge.

"I am certain that she is the right choice," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address, in which he scolded critics who he said were trying to distort her record and past statements.

With the Senate reconvening this week, Obama said he hoped it would begin the confirmation process without delay. He said he expected his nominee to be on the bench when the Supreme Court begins its new term in October.

In the interim, Obama said, he expected "rigorous evaluation" of Sotomayor but added, "What I hope is that we can avoid the political posturing and ideological brinkmanship that has bogged down this process, and Congress, in the past."

He derided "some in Washington who are attempting to draw old battle lines and playing the usual political games, pulling a few comments out of context to paint a distorted picture of Judge Sotomayor's record.

"But I am confident that these efforts will fail," Obama added, "because Judge Sotomayor's 17-year record on the bench - hundreds of judicial decisions that every American can read for him or herself - speak far louder than any attack; her record makes clear that she is fair, unbiased and dedicated to the rule of law."