Republican Senators And Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor has proven by her record and experience that she deserves confirmation as the first Hispanic and third woman Justice of the Supreme Court. 

She would become the 111th person to serve on the Court,  and the American Bar Association gave enthusiastic backing to her nomination.  She has had more experience and been involved in more decisions than anyone in the past century who was nominated for the Court, certainly a lot more than Chief Justice John Roberts or Associate Justice Samuel Alito.

Despite all this,  it is apparent that Sotomayor will  not get many votes from the GOP in the Senate, although with 60 Democrats, she is assured of confirmation.  Up to now, only five Republicans have stated they will vote for her confirmation:  Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine,  Richard Lugar of Indiana,  Mel Martinez of Florida, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.  Graham was tough on Sotomayor during the Judiciary Committee hearings, but still has shown statesmanship by deciding to be the only Republican on the committee to vote in her favor.  Snowe and Collins have been cooperative on the economic stimulus bill and their backing Sotomayor is not a surprise, therefore.  Lugar is, as I have stated before, a very respectable and fair minded conservative willing to back someone who he might not have picked.  Martinez, being Hispanic and from a major Hispanic state, Florida, and with the reputation of being a moderate, was a pleasant surprise in announcing support.

It is hard to gauge now, a week before the vote of the full Senate, whether the final vote will be simply the 60 Democrats and five Republicans, or whether more will back her.  I can imagine five more backing her, but I doubt more than that, but it will be interesting to see what transpires.   The five I imagine might back her are Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska,  John McCain of Arizona,  Lamar Alexander of Tennessee,  and George Voinovich of Ohio.  When the vote is taken,  I will comment on the final result, but I heavily doubt that there will be more than 70 in favor of her, and probably in the mid to high 60s.  Of course, it really does not matter, as long as she has the Democrats behind her, but it will be interesting to see if the GOP will realize the dangers of opposing the first Hispanic nominee simply on party lines.

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