Senate Judiciary Panel Postpones Vote on Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court Bid

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 21, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Judiciary Panel Postpones Vote on Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court Bid

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 21
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The Senate Judiciary Committee had been scheduled to vote on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court today, but the panel will postpone the vote until next week. Republican senators on the committee used the rules of the panel to exercise their right to delay the vote.

Republicans on the Judiciary Committee had asked the nominee to elaborate on her testimony by answering written questions and they wanted extra time to evaluate those responses.

Chairman Pat Leahy, a pro-abortion Vermont Democrat, accepted the request for the delay and scheduled a vote on Sotomayor for Tuesday, July 28.

Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell talked more about why he will oppose Sotomayor, but also said that he doesn’t expect any lawmakers to filibuster her nomination.

“I don’t know of any Republicans who think that will be necessary,” he said.

Top Republican on the panel, Alabama pro-life Sen. Jeff Sessions agreed, saying, "I don’t think there’s any desire on our side just to prolong it for the sake of prolonging it.

None of the seven Republican members of the committee have indicated how they will vote on the nomination, which is now expected to be easily confirmed in the committee and on the Senate floor.

The delay came on the same day that NARAL, a prominent pro-abortion group, endorsed Sotomayor for the high court saying she, like President Barack Obama, solidly backs abortion.

Also today, pro-abortion Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, announced that she will vote to confirm Sotomayor to replace pro-abortion Justice David Souter. Collins is the fourth Republican who has publicly said she will vote for the New York appeals court judge.

She followed pro-life Republican John Thune of South Dakota, who on Monday, also indicated he would vote against Sotomayor.
“Judge Sotomayor has a record of bringing her personal views into her decision making philosophy rather than deciding cases based on precedent and fidelity to the law,” he said in a statement. “Her statements during the confirmation hearing before the Judiciary Committee do not always match the philosophies she has expressed prior to this hearing, such as her application of foreign law.”

McConnell and pro-life Sen. Robert F. Bennett, a Utah Republican, announced that they intend to vote against her nomination, while three Republicans, Sens. Dick Lugar of Indiana, Mel Martinez of Florida and Olympia Snowe of Maine, will back her nomination.

Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson declined to comment Monday on whether he would support Sotomayor’s confirmation, saying he wanted to wait until the Senate Judiciary Committee has a chance to vote.

“I’m anxious to see what the committee [members] — who did the actual questioning, who are much closer to it, obviously, than I — have to say,” Nelson said.

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