As Sotomayor Debate Begins, Two More Announce Opposition
Updated 2:00 p.m.
By Paul Kane
Wyoming's senators announced Wednesday that they'll oppose the Supreme Court confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, while Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.) became the seventh Republican to announce his support of her ahead of a roll-call vote, expected for Thursday or Friday.
Mike Enzi and John Barrasso's opposition leaves just three undeclared Senate Republicans: two former governors, Sens. Judd Gregg (N.H.) and George Voinovich (Ohio), and the daughter of a former governor, Sen. Lisa Murkowski
The two most recent GOP supporters of Sotomayor -- Bond and Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) -- have been governors, a role that may lend a different perspective on the executive branch and its prerogatives on judicial nominations.
"Elections have consequences," Bond said on the Senate floor. If conservatives want to block liberal judges from the federal courts, he added, they have to win at the ballot box, absent some disqualifying background for the nominee or a judicial philosophy that is far out of the mainstream.
Every Senate Democrat is expected to vote for Sotomayor, joined by a handful of Republican moderates and veterans, such as Sen. Richard Lugar (Ind.).
Like Bond, Gregg and Voinovich are retiring in 2010, making them immune from any conservative backlash from voters in future Republican primaries.
Gregg indicated to Capitol Briefing on Tuesday that his former executive-branch experience made him more likely to support the president's judicial appointments, seeming to hint that he would support Sotomayor. If Voinovich and Murkowski think the same way, Obama's first Supreme Court selection could receive a double-digit level of support from Republicans. Given the battering that bipartisanship has taken thus far in the Obama administration, that might qualify as something of a moral victory.
August 5, 2009; 12:37 PM ET
Categories: Supreme Court
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