Senate Republican Leader Won’t Drop Filibuster on Supreme Court Pick Sotomayor

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 5, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Republican Leader Won’t Drop Filibuster on Supreme Court Pick Sotomayor

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 5
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The leader of the Republicans in the Senate won’t drop the possibility of a filibuster against Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Mitch McConnell’s comments follow two senators who met with Sotomayor and confirm that she will likely uphold Roe v. Wade, the case allowing virtually unlimited abortions.

McConnell said it is "way too early to know" whether any Republican senators will want to use a filibuster to block Sotomayor’s nomination if they perceive her as not qualified for the Supreme Court.

However, the pro-life Kentucky senator said he thinks that using the procedural tactic is generally a "bad idea," but is one that "may or may not be employed at some point."

Other Republican lawmakers have said they don’t envision the filibuster as a realistic strategy to stop the Sotomayor nomination, if only because Senate Democrats, without any defections, are one vote shy of stopping it.

Sen. John Cornyn, a pro-life Texas Republican, said he, too, is not ruling out the filibuster, but wants to go through the process of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing first.

He met with Sotomayor on Thursday and said he hopes to "start a new trend in judicial confirmation hearings."

"I pledged to her we would break that cycle – which is a vicious cycle – of mistreatment of nominees," he said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "My own view is that I hope that will not be necessary, but we won’t know that until we get farther into the process."

Two other senators recently met with Sotomayor and both say they are comfortable she will support the controversial Supreme Court decision that has resulted in more than 50 million abortions.

Sotomayor met with pro-abortion Sen. Diane Feinstein on Tuesday and the lawmaker said she felt comfortable that the appeals court judge supports Roe as precedent.

Yesterday, pro-abortion Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who met with Sotomayor late Wednesday, said the same thing.

"I was very pleased that the judge indicated that in the past that she has had a great respect for precedent and that Roe v. Wade is established law," Wyden told reporters, according to a Politico report.

Wyden says he asked specifically about the issue of abortion and the controversial Supreme Court case and "she acknowledged the importance of precedent."

"She made that very clear," Wyden said.

President Obama, who is pro-abortion, has also noted he is comfortable with Sotomayor’s abortion position.

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