August 4th, 2009
10:14 AM ET
11 years ago

Senate to begin final Sotomayor debate

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The full Senate is expected to begin deliberations Tuesday on the nomination of federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor to become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.

At least five Republican senators have announced their intention to support Sotomayor, making confirmation by the Democratic-controlled Senate a virtual certainty.

A final confirmation vote is expected by Thursday.

Sotomayor, 55, is President Barack Obama's first nominee to the nation's highest court. She would be 111th person to sit on the Supreme Court, and the third woman justice.

Last week, Sotomayor's nomination cleared a sharply polarized Senate Judiciary Committee, with one Republican joining the panel's Democrats in sending the nomination to the full Senate on a 13-6 vote.

Democrats have praised Sotomayor's 17-year record as a federal judge and her made-in-America story as a minority woman who rose to success through hard work and opportunity.

Republicans, however, have questioned her judicial neutrality, complaining about speeches in which she made controversial statements, including her hope that a "wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences" would reach a better conclusion than a white man "who hasn't lived that life."

Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Larry

    Hasn't this gone on long enough? Why don't they just vote? She's going to be confirmed.

    August 4, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. alvino

    I thought McCain's "no" vote on Sotomayor may alienate a ot of his AZ voters until I saw his future primary opponent on TV this morning. He is nuttier than McSenile.

    August 4, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    It is VIRTUALLY CERTAIN that Judge Sotomayor will be confirmed, but rest assured that the party of No will take this opportunity too, to further embarrass themselves, show their true colors and ONCE AGAIN spew their pointless vitriol.
    You would think that at some point, they would be gracious in defeat and embrace the will of the people.
    Makes me wonder how they ever got so far in the first place.

    August 4, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    There is nothing I enjoy more than the simplistic ramblings of GOP Senators. Instead of focusing on “wise Latina woman” comments, why didn’t they question her about her cases? She has a wide range of cases she has tried. If there was a decision there that was questionable, that would have provided evidence of any lack of neutrality. I suspect they did and found nothing. Or they were just too lazy and decided to let the media comb through her speeches to find one nugget to complain about.

    August 4, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. Rich

    Sound like republicans have a problem with a well educated hispanic women.

    August 4, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  6. RR

    She said she didn't believe the 2nd Amendment applied to the states, so does she think other parts of the Bill of Rights don't apply to the states?

    During her hearings, she kept saying she made her rulings based on what lower courts had said. She never once said she made her rulings based on the Constitutuion.

    As a judge, she was just a rubber stamp for lower courts and government.

    Vote "no"

    August 4, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Lynne

    The republicans will use any forum they can get to talk their nonsense of NOPE!!

    August 4, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. LanaJean

    Had to chuckle about McCains "NO" vote. He's still the follower and is greatly afraid of Rush and Rove. What an idiot this guy has proven to be. And he thought he was Pres. material....ha!

    August 4, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. Michael D. Houst

    I'm opposed to Sotomayer's nomination based on her excrable record. Her sex, ethnicity, age, and health conditions are irrelevant.
    Her ruling on second amendment rights in the New York case, and her ruling on the Connecticutt fire fighters case are indicative of her inability to understand and interpret the Constitution.

    Already written to both senators urging them to give her the thumbs down.

    August 4, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. Glenn McIntyre

    Repubs did such a fine job when they controlled WH and Congress that now they control zip. Buck up and take it. The judge will be confirmed, period, end of discussion. Go ahead and make it worse for yourselves and vote "NO".

    August 4, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    What's left to debate? Why can't they streamline this process of confirmation?

    August 4, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Deb

    Well I slept soundly knowing that John McCain would not endorse a viable candidate such as Sonia Sotomayor. Again John McCain is so predictable. The maverick's sizzle has fizzled!

    August 4, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. JAY

    Everyone knows the Senate will confirm her even if it was or was
    not the will of the people.The democrats and some republicans
    want to go for the history making thing again and for the latino votes .
    in 2010 and 2012.


    August 4, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. yuri

    As long as the GOP's intransigence intones idiotic interventional inroads, Sotomayor's confirmation may see some rambunctious road blocks.

    August 4, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Kevin in Ohio

    Let the rubber stamping begin. Miguel Estrada was a much better choice for the first Hispanic justice....but always remember that the democrats crucified him by filibustering over and over again.

    August 4, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. Michigan mom

    Wow, five whole Republicans who can think for themselves. Sotomayor is probably the most qualified and intelligent candidate ever put forward. The only reasons Republicans refuse to support her are that she is a minority woman, and she is an Obama pick. They are angry that a black man is their President, and are also angry at having to have a truly wise woman sit on the Supreme Court. It also makes their support of Palin look even worse...surely there are intelligent Republican women out there, ones that might even have clean backgrounds and be able to put a paragraph together.

    August 4, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. Dan in San Marcos

    John McCain voting against Sotomayor because he's afraid she will bring her own biases to the bench? Good grief, we all have biases! Republicans and Democrats are largely defined because of their biases. People get nominated to the Supreme Court in part due to their biases – it is known up front whether they tend liberal or conservative. I think we just have yet another example of a polarized Congress. Republicans, just keep saying "No" and that's what the majority of voters will say at your next election.

    August 4, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. Al-NY,NY

    All this debate will serve are those beholden to the NRA/zealot portion of the GOP. Keep drumming in the same lines lemmings. She is in and there's nothing you can do about it..except pander

    August 4, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. Kate in SW Fla

    This is just another chance for more political grandstanding. If these hypocrit Republicans would work as hard at helping to fix the problems they helped to create, as they do trying to figure out ways to stymie any progress, lest the Democrats receive ANY credit at all, maybe, just maybe, we could solve some things. But, no. The Republicans spend all their time hatching plots and trying to get their faces in front of any camera they see. McCain is the worst. Seriously, who cares what that bitter loser has to say? He is so mean.

    August 4, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. daniel

    If the President does something and there are no Republicans around to see it, is he still wrong?

    August 4, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. James, Ho. TX

    Let the Votes begin !! Yea's 75, Ney's 20; 5 No shows. Thank You.

    August 4, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. Susan

    Another stupid move by John McCain. Makes me shudder that this man ran for President.

    August 4, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. Steve

    John McCain is staying true to form...doing what Rush Limbaugh tells him to. When will Johnny boy get a mind of his own? Too late.

    August 4, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. JAW

    It's nice to see that the Republicans are so concerned that the judge does not have an open mind. I believe if you check the record, you will discover that since he joined the Court, Chief Justice Roberts, in criminal cases, has sided with the prosecution in every case he has participated in. How's that for an open mind?

    August 4, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Tommy

    I'm concerned about my right to own as many guns and ammo that I can comfortably pack into my own house. I have a right to protect myself with automatic assault rifles and guns that can't be picked up in a metal detector. I have the right to get a gun as quickly as possible with little or no background check. And I have the right to use those firearms to blow anyone away that I want to. Therefore, I hope she doesn't get confirmed because she will kill those rights (at least that's what LaPierre and the NRA tells me).

    I had a friend tell me the other day that he shouldn't have voted for Obama because he heard that the price of ammo will increase 500%. So a box of shotgun shells that costs $20, will now cost $100. Yeah, right...

    When you hear the nutcases like LaPierre spouting off about gun rights, etc., you really have to take the smut emanating from their pieholes with a grain of salt. C'mon people – THINK!

    Aim high!

    August 4, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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