Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Senate confirms Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court by a vote of sixty eight to thirty one

With Senator Al Franken of Minnesota presiding, the United States Senate today confirmed Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the nation's one hundredth and eleventh Justice of the Supreme Court and first Hispanic justice.

The vote largely split along party lines; it was certainly that way in the Greater Pacific Northwest, where Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray, Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley, Max Baucus, Jon Tester, and Mark Begich all voted aye (cheers to them!) while Mike Crapo, Jim Risch, and Lisa Murkowski voted nay (jeers to them).

Republicans crossing over included:
  • Kit Bond of Missouri
  • George Voivonich of Ohio
  • Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
  • Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine
  • Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
  • Judd Gregg of New Hampshire
  • Mel Martinez of Florida
  • Richard Lugar of Indiana
Cheers to them for breaking with the rest of their party.

Not a single Democrat joined with the twenty two Republicans who refused to support Sotomayor, John McCain and Mitch McConnell among them. That's a remarkable showing of party unity. Senator Kennedy, regrettably, could not be there to vote, or there would have been sixty nine ayes.

Following Sotomayor's successful confirmation, President Barack Obama declared, "[W]ith this historic vote, the Senate has affirmed that Judge Sotomayor has the intellect, the temperament, the history, the integrity and the independence of mind to ably serve on our nation’s highest court."

Senator Patty Murray, in a statement released to NPI, said:
I was proud to join with my colleagues in the Senate as we cast this historic vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor as the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor is highly qualified for the position, and will be a smart, fair, and impartial member of the Supreme Court. She understands the struggles of working families and the importance of civil rights, and her record shows a strong respect for the rule of law. I have followed her progress through the Senate Judiciary Committee and am confident that she will evaluate each case based on its particular facts, and will protect the rights and liberties of all Americans.
Senator Jeff Merkley, also in a statement released to NPI, noted:
As as our nation’s first Hispanic Justice, this is a historic confirmation. Justice Sotomayor’s intelligence, experience on the bench and commitment to the Constitution make her a tremendous addition to the Supreme Court. Her diverse background and set of life experiences give her valuable insight into the real world application of the law and complement her careful, well-reasoned judicial approach. I’m very proud to have supported her confirmation.
Again, kudos to our Northwest D's for standing strong behind Sonia Sotomayor.


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