Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Sotomayor Vote Delayed, Although Confirmation Is Expected

Written by  Steven Yates

SotomayorThe Senate Judiciary Committee has delayed its vote on the confirmation of President Barack Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

The panel will now cast its vote on July 28, according to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senate Judiciary Committee chairman. Leahy added that he expects Sotomayor to be confirmed by an overwhelming majority in the full Senate, which will include many "moderate" Republicans.

Republicans who have said they will vote to confirm Sotomayor include Sens. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Mel Martinez (R-Fl.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), and most recently, Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Sen. Collins stated, “I know that I will not agree with every decision Justice Sotomayor reaches on the court, just as I disagree with some of her previous decisions.” She believes, however, that Sotomayor “understands the proper role of a judge and is committed to applying the law impartially without bias or favoritism.”

A number of conservative Republicans oppose Sotomayor’s nomination. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), for example, is alarmed by her refusal during her confirmation hearings to state whether she believes the Second Amendment right to bear arms binds states as well as the federal government. He disagrees with Sen. Collins’ assessment, maintaining that Sotomayor “shows an alarming hostility toward law-abiding gun owners across the country.” He spoke of her “aversion to impartiality.”

Yesterday, NARAL Pro-Choice America, a group favoring abortion rights, endorsed Sotomayor. In a joint statement, the group’s president Nancy Keenan and the head of its New York chapter Kelli Conlin, stated, “We are pleased that Judge Sotomayor expressed stronger support for the established constitutional right to privacy than either Chief Justice Roberts or Justice Alito, both of whom had anti-choice records before being nominated.”

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