President Obama's first nominee to the nation's highest court was hailed by Democrats as a fair and impartial jurist who represents the ideals of equal opportunity, while Republicans warned she would be a judicial activist for liberal positions.I don't think the GOP's treatment of Sotomayor will be forgotten at the election booth in 2010, either. Nor should it. It might be something that will haunt the party for a long, long time. Exactly what did they gain by opposing her nomination on account they believed she was a racist? She's going to be sworn in. They've lost votes in the Latino community for sure, and they'll suffer the wrath of the fanatics in the base for not opposing her hard enough.
"This is a nominee who has had more experience on the federal court than any nominee to the Supreme Court in decades," noted Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that approved Sotomayor's nomination after a four-day hearing. "She's a restrained, experienced and thoughtful judge who has shown no bias in her rulings. ... Her record as a judge has been one of rendering decisions impartially and neutrally."
However, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, called Sotomayor's testimony to the panel vague and misleading regarding her judicial philosophy and intent. He said a close reading of her past speeches showed a leaning toward judicial activism that was "contrary to the underpinnings of the American justice system."
"Do they believe that the Constitution can be made to say what one wants it to say?" Sessions asked.
"Regretfully I was not able to support her nomination in committee, nor will I support her nomination in the full Senate," he said.
However, six Republican senators have announced their intention to support Sotomayor, making confirmation by the Democratic-controlled Senate a virtual certainty.
A confirmation vote is expected by Thursday. Legal sources say a White House swearing-in ceremony could happen as early as Friday.
What was the upside there, guys? I don't see one.