Sotomayor Passes Judiciary Hurdle
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-6 to send the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the full Senate, but some Republicans couldn’t get past her “wise Latina” comment. Senator Lindsey Graham voted for Sotmayor saying she was “well qualified,” of “good character” and within “the mainstream,” but not every Republican on the committee shared that view.
Leading committee Republican Jeff Sessions, of Alabama, said he was opposing Sotomayor because he believed her “personal biases” would taint her rulings. Her judicial philosophy conflicts with “blind justice,” Sessions said, as he focused on statements Sotomayor had made off the bench.
He and other Republican opponents referred Sotomayor’s statement, made in speeches, that she “would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion that a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Sessions said such sentiment would slant her rulings.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he had come to the confirmation process wanting to vote for the nominee but said that in the end “her speeches and articles described a troubling approach to judging that her hearing testimony did not resolve. In some of her most important cases, she gave short shrift to fundamental constitutional rights.”
Joining Leahy, Feinstein and Graham in backing Sotomayor were Democrats Herb Kohl, of Wisconsin; Russ Feingold, Wisconsin; Charles Schumer, New York, Dick Durbin, Illinois; Benjamin Cardin, Maryland; Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island; Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota; Ted Kaufman, Delaware; Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania; and Al Franken, Minnesota.
Joining Sessions and Hatch against Sotomayor were Republicans Chuck Grassley, of Iowa; John Kyl, Arizona; John Cornyn, Texas; and Tom Coburn, Oklahoma.Click here for reuse options!
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