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Committee Prepares to Vote on Sotomayor

UPDATED 10:40 A.M.
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have started making their opening statements before voting on whether to send the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the full Senate for confirmation.

There is little drama about the outcome of the committee vote, since all 12 Democrats on the panel have pledged to support Sotomayor. Of the seven Republicans, however, only Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, plans to vote 'yes.'

By comparision, the panel voted 13-5 to approve the nomination of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and 10-8 to approve Justice Samuel Alito. As noted by washingtonpost.com's Ben Pershing, committee members Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) both plan to vote against Sotomayor, the first time they have opposed a nominee for the high court.

Before any vote is taken today, however, the senators each have an opportunity to explain their 'yea' or 'nay.' During his statement, Grassley said Sotomayor's testimony before the committee earlier in July "left me with more questions than answers."

"Our justice system requires that judges check their biases and personal preferences at the courthouse door," Grassley said. "I am not convinced that Judge Sotomayor has the ability to wear the judicial blindfold, and not have her personal opinions" influence her legal opinions.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), in contrast, praised the nominee's judicial record and called her an inspiring example to women everywhere. "I believe she has been an impressive judge. I believe she has been an impressive lawyer and I believe she will be an impressive justice," Feinstein said. "I will vote for her nominaton with pride."

The full Senate is expected to vote on the nomination next week. With Democrats holding 60 of the 100 seats in the Senate, and Republican Sens. Graham; Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe (both of Maine); Richard Lugar (Ind.); and Mel Martinez (Fla.) having already pledged their support, it seems all but guaranteed that Sotomayor will become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.

The Washington Post is keeping a tally of Republicans throughout the Senate who have already announced whether they will support or oppose Sotomayor. Here is a link to the latest numbers.

By Debbi Wilgoren  |  July 28, 2009; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  Senate , Supreme Court , Today on the Hill , Votes  
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Comments

We can't disappoint Boss Limbaugh by supporting this racist woman?

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | July 28, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

A VOTE FOR SOTOMAYOR IS A VOTE TO BAN THE BIBLE.......

Sotonayor has already ruled Bible verses must be removed from Billboards.

Some Senators think voting for Sotomayor will have no effect on them since they are not up for 3 or 5 years.

WRONG.

Justice Sotomayor will attack the Bible and religion much more when on the Supreme Court, then people will wonder who put her on the Court

and Senators who voted for her will have nice bumper stickers

BAN THE BIBLE--VOTE FOR SENATOR "your name"

Posted by: JaxMax | July 28, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Well I hope they know , IF SHE IS IN ....THEY ARE OUT !

Posted by: noHUCKABEEnoVOTE | July 28, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

done deal. who is sponsoring the party(paid for with our $$$)?

Posted by: pofinpa | July 28, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Can someone point to the national outrage surrounding Alito's confirmation and his unsuitability for the position because of his references to allowing his experiences as the son of Italian immigrants to guide his decisions? I'm having troubles turning anything up.

Posted by: washpost18 | July 28, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Justice Sotomayor. See you the first Monday in October.

Posted by: darien14 | July 28, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I actually think you have a point wilandjansdad. I think that most republicans are flat out terrified of the anger that Limbaugh can gin up against anyone who gets on his bad side. And we all know all that takes is simply disagreeing with him.

I look at Limbaugh as a moderately intelligent, superbly articulate hog. His so-called "Golden EIB Microphone" does conceal one power: The ability to mobilize the cranky, bigoted, malicious, conspiratorial, paranoid, crackpot fringe of the right wing. They only make up a neglible slice of the total electorate but, they are without doubt the loudest, most shrill and annoying group of malcontents on the planet. And the dumbest.

Posted by: jaxas | July 28, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I think this is the saddest commentary on how far the "Party of No" strategy has now evolved:

"Committee members Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) both plan to vote against Sotomayor, the first time they have opposed a nominee for the high court. The senators say their decision reflects how much more partisian the process has become in recent years."

They don't even attempt some tortured logic (which admittedly we wouldn't believe) as to how they would normally vote for a sitting president's nominee to the Supreme Court, but this one, regretfully, they must reject for reasons x, y, or z. They just come out and say it: the process is partisan, they are Republicans, so they have to vote No.

How can we possibly have bipartisan solutions to health care, climate change, the economic crisis, financial regulation, or any of the other genuine issues confronting us as a country (not just confronting Democrats), if senators with this length of tenure are happily sitting on the sidelines for the next four to eight years, covering their ears and refusing to engage in dialogue?

I think Lindsey Graham, with his reproof of then-Senator Obama's vote against Roberts but his own decision to respect the president's choice because "elections matter," comes out of this smelling like a rose. (Of course, going back to the Roberts case, so does the Democratic caucus at that time, which split 50-50 on Roberts in the very opposite of a Republican-style party line vote.)

Shame on Hatch and Grassley. Shame.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | July 28, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The party of NO. Now becoming irrelevant, Southern, ole white men seeing their small world shrinking.

Posted by: jckdoors | July 28, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

The democrats had a chance during Bush's first term to make this process much less partisan. Bush had proposed a reasonable compromise that the Democrats rejected.

Even though I support Sotomayor, I don't blame the Republicans for the mess this process has become.

Posted by: mikem1 | July 28, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I wish the discussions about Supreme Court nominees included more information on how often they were overruled by higher courts for making bad decisions.

Posted by: eldergent | July 28, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter what the Republicans do.

As the educated parts of America have decided, they are now an annoying irrelevance -- without any known benefit to themselves, or to anyone or anything else.

Think mosquitoes.

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | July 28, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

We the Spanish community will remember all the republicans that choose not to vote for Judge Sotomayor... We Spanish don’t believe in abortion, we are very religious and mostly catholic, pro family and social conservative, most of us came from large families and have a large family. The despairingly comments by some republicans are offensive and discriminatory.

Posted by: tepexpan | July 28, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Sotomayor is a female Hugo Chavez. A vote for her is a vote against freedom. With this "judge" sitting on the bench, we will get neither law nor justice.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | July 28, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Once again, by opposing Judge Sotomayor, the Republicans will be voting their party into oblivion.

Posted by: algasema | July 28, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

....in other words, who gives a F whether the right-wingers vote for judge Sotomayor or not. SHE WILL BE CONFIRMED, LIKE IT OR NOT, PERIOD!
Ont other hand, it pleases me to see Psycho Von Limbaugh, Annus Coultergheist, Insanity, and Bill O'Dummy suffer with "aye" vote. Now, eat the feces.

Posted by: analyst72 | July 28, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Grab your guns and ammo, Sotomayor has no intention of upholding our 2nd Amendment rights. She is an assault on the US Constitution. It has nothing to do with race or ethnic background.

Posted by: BubbaRight | July 28, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats are idiots. When Roberts was up for the court, a higher percentage of democrats voted for him compared to the percentage of repugnicans set to vote for Sotomayor. Then the dems were the minority, today it is the gop. When are the dems going to learn to act like the repugnicans when they are in the minority? To hell with this collegial, bipartisan crap. The dems need to stick it to the gop at every opportunity, and stick it to them but good.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | July 28, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The democrats don't care whether she's good or bad. She's Obama's first pick, and they're going to put her in. This is a no-brainer of the first order.

Posted by: rocks1 | July 28, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

There is one good party of NO: NO REPUBLICANS. Vote 'em out.

Posted by: frodot | July 28, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Sotomayor is no racist and how can a vote for her be a ban on the Bible. She is not in a position to do that. If she tries many in this country will rise up in arms against that or the church will go underground. Where do you get your information Jaxmax? I am really curous. I am an Evangelical Christian and would not want that to happen.

Posted by: wmaclean | July 28, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

It's so funny reading the comments about Judge Sotomayor's biases. Like Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas have no biases? Scalia goes hunting with Cheney. No conflict of interest there, of course.

And the verdict is, once again ---- Hypocrisy ----.

Posted by: pcc7407 | July 28, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Ha Ha The Republicans don't want her, but they are scared to vote against her.

Posted by: JoeNTx | July 28, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

WOW...the Democrats voting for Sotomayor based on what ? Her sidestepping almost all questions? Or changing her tune on her remarks? Maybe its because of her stellar Grammer and writings. The Republicans just oppose because they want to. No supporting evidence, just opposition.
We will all pay for this but the Democrats will be paying with their jobs next election as they continue to be just Politically correct, no spine, and no sense and no caring for what their constituants want. Thay all actually make me sick.....as does this Fraud Sotomayor.

Posted by: livefreeordie2 | July 28, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

She is bad for this country. She is a liar. VOTE NO!

Posted by: curb1 | July 28, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

as a political strategist, I'd say the managers of this campaign did a brilliant job. The Party of NO was not about to support anyone but another Thomas, so... a representative female and an Hispanic in one package in order to put them on the record... no problem with white guys but an Hispanic female? NO !

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 28, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Senator Grassley's comments are notable only for their incredible hypocrisy, given his support for Justices like Scalia, Thomas and Alito, obvious partisans with equally obvious agendas--their agendas and partisanship apparent well before their confirmations. Grassley has no problem with bias, as long as it is consistent with his.

Hatch, while very partisan, has been fair to nominees in the past (and the Presidents who nominated them), so his "no" to Sotomayor is deserving of serious scrutiny. This given his past support of the same Justices listed previously, suggests that he is now voting on confirmation on the basis of bias, not judicial fitness.

Posted by: dwatkins1 | July 28, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

JaxMax - I give a 2 out of 10 on the troll meter. The Bible will be safe in the church, where it belongs. And the sooner the Republicans get rid of the uneducated who really believe what you wrote the better the country will be.

Posted by: Mike8429 | July 28, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Hispanics must be paid off, politically, and besides a vote for Sotomayor is a vote of confidence for "AFFIRMATIVE ACTION".

A twofer for B.O.

Posted by: battleground51 | July 28, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse


Our awesome President and America win again!

It's pretty hilarious that some desperate, delusional, racist, lying conservative fanatics are trying to pretend Sotomayor is an "affirmative action" pick. She is the most qualified and experienced Supreme Court nominee in 100 years.

Try again Dummies.

Posted by: sequoiaqueneaux | July 28, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans continue their magical shrinking show. Women, Hispanics--I mean, exactly who is left under the Republican tent? Oh, yeah, Limbaugh and the butt-crack brigade. pass a beer boys! We are showing them ain't we?

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | July 28, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line: The Republicans are instant no votes on every issue, so just bypass them entirely and ram nominations and legislation down their throat. They are a sideshow to government, a loud and inconsequential group that is nothing more than warm bodies needed to placate the dwindling GOP base. Their support is not needed.

Posted by: SWB2 | July 28, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

This is disgusting. Look at these DEMS saying F.Y to our constitution. This racist bigot isn't qualified to sit on a jury let alone be a justice on the Supreme Court.

DEM Logic = S h i t on the constitution and put a racist pineapple on the S.C. for a few extra hispanic votes. This is exactly what's going on.

Chevy

Posted by: MrPotatoHead98 | July 28, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

An excellent choice. Highly-trained and experienced. A good balance to the bought and paid for Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas. Republicans should be ashamed of themselves. Watch what happens in 2010. The extreme anti-government, anti-tax, pro religious meddling party will be reduced to a dozen cranky old white guys from the South. Good Riddance! Say No to the Party of No!

Posted by: thebobbob | July 28, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

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