With Sotomayor Vote, Parties Position for 2010
By Ben Pershing
The largely newsless confirmation saga of Sonia Sotomayor will make news today, as the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on sending the first Hispanic Supreme Court nominee to the full chamber for consideration.
Among committee Republicans, only Lindsey Graham is expected to vote "aye," meaning the tally will likely favor the nominee, 13-6. (John Roberts' panel vote was 13-5, while Samuel Alito's was 10-8.) Charles Grassley and Orrin Hatch both plan to cast their first-ever votes against a Supreme Court nominee today, and they attribute their opposition as much to the changing partisan atmosphere in the Senate as they do to Sotomayor's record. "I think it's a whole new ballgame, a lot different than I approached it with [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg and [Stephen] Breyer," Grassley told the Los Angeles Times.
Will Republicans remain similarly unified on the Senate floor? And will their opposition matter in 2010? Politico mines today's Daybook in a way that will please the Democratic National Committee, noting, "Republicans' dilemma in connecting with the growing Hispanic electorate will be on vivid display Tuesday," as GOP senators will be voting against Sotomayor while Tim Kaine will be speaking -- partly in Spanish -- at the annual conference of the National Council of La Raza. But conservatives believe the tally will work in their favor. "Republicans can reap significant political benefits by voting against her confirmation and making her an issue in key races next year," Ralph Reed declared in a memo to his allies. The full Senate is expected to vote on Sotomayor by Aug. 7, but the political winners and losers may not be clear until next fall.
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