Yesterday’s vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee to approve the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor moved the nominee one step closer to becoming the 111th justice to serve on the Supreme Court. Despite her overwhelming support by members of the Committee, only Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) crossed party lines to endorse the nominee. Judge Sotomayor is expected to win confirmation, as Democrats have 60 votes in the Senate and four other Republican Senators have said they would vote for her. Care2 would like to help make that happen.
Even with broad endorsements from the legal and criminal justice communities, Senate Republicans spent most of the contentious public hearings attacking the nominee for her extra-judicial statements concerning race and affirmative action. Even though Senate Republicans on the Judiciary Committee conceded that Judge Sotomayor is exceptionally well qualified they voted against her nomination.
Judge Sotomayor’s record at both the district court and the appellate court speaks for itself. Her rulings are well within the mainstream, siding with law enforcement or government actors over 90% of the time. As a practicing attorney she prosecuted criminals and litigated business disputes. Senate Republicans cannot attack her record so they chose instead to distract from any substantive debate on legal issues, focusing instead on a handful of statements that bear little, if any relevance, to Judge Sotomayor’s rulings.
Considering the issues expected before the Court in the coming term–more fallout from executive abuses in the war on terror, campaign finance reform, additional voting rights cases, it would be wise for Senate Republicans to focus on the issues and set aside divisive cultural rhetoric. Let’s get the conversation back on track. Petition your Senator and urge they vote in support of Judge Sotomayor’s nomination.
photo courtesy of stevegarfield via Flickr.