Top Senate Republican Opposes Sotomayor, Some GOP Lawmakers Back Her

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 17, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Top Senate Republican Opposes Sotomayor, Some GOP Lawmakers Back Her

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 17
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Now that the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor are complete, some senators are already announcing how they intend to vote. While the top Senate Republican plans to oppose her, other Republicans are backing her bid.

Should Sotomayor be confirmed, which appears increasingly likely given a reduced threat of a filibuster, the only hope for pro-life advocates to stop her nomination, she would replace retiring pro-abortion Justice David Souter.

Today, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a pro-life Kentucky Republican, said he would vote against Sotomayor.

“Judge Sotomayor’s record of written statements suggests an alarming lack of respect for the notion of equal justice, and therefore, in my view, an insufficient willingness to abide by the judicial oath,” he said in a floor speech.

Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican who tends to vote pro-life, says he is in Sotomayor’s corner.

"Judge Sotomayor has had a distinguished career of public service. She is well regarded in the legal community and by her peers. I will vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States," he said.

Sen. Mel Martinez, a Florida Hispanic Republic who is pro-life, also says he will support Sotomayor.

"Given her judicial record, and her testimony this week, it is my determination that Judge Sotomayor is well-qualified to serve," he said of the first Hispanic nominated to the high court.

"Judge Sotomayor’s rise to the Supreme Court is testimony to the fact that the American dream continues to be attainable. As an Hispanic American, I take great pride in Judge Sotomayor’s historic achievement. Given her qualifications and testimony this week, I intend to vote in favor of her confirmation," he added.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, a pro-abortion Republican from Maine, plans to vote for Sotomayor as well, saying, “Barring any unforeseen developments, I expect to join the majority of my Senate colleagues in confirming Judge Sotomayor to a seat on the highest Court in the land before the August recess.”

Former Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, who is pro-abortion, also will vote for President Barack Obama’s high court pick.

When it comes to a filibuster, two leading pro-life Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jeff Sessions of Alabama and John Cornyn of Texas, say they will not support a filibuster. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t vote against Sotomayor.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Pat Leahy, a pro-abortion Vermont Democrat, has said he wants the panel to vote on Tuesday, but Republicans may delay the vote one more week.

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