Religious and political conservatives are searching for ways to oppose President Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. You'll hear a lot of nonsense from the Right during this confirmation process. Their efforts may be, however, in vain. Not only do Democrats have 59 seats in the Senate but Sotomayor was first appointed to the courts by then President George H. W. Bush. When President Clinton nominated her for to a seat on the federal appeals court in 1998 she received bi-partisan support.
Sens. Robert Bennett (R-Utah), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) joined a unanimous slate of Dems in pushing Sotomayor through by a vote of 68-28.
Those members of the Senate are still in office. It is worth noting that during earlier confirmations she received support from such staunch conservatives as Strom Thurmond.
Meanwhile, progressive Christian groups are also weighing in on the nomination. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice released a statement today that read:
The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, which advocates for laws and policies that are just and compassionate to families and that accommodate differing religious and moral viewpoints, commends President Barack Obama's nomination to the United States Supreme Court of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, a jurist who has indicated she will apply her personal understanding of the struggles of ordinary Americans to her legal rulings.
With today's historic nomination of federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama has fulfilled his promise to appoint a jurist with outstanding legal credentials as well as empathy for the daily struggles of individuals and families. If confirmed for the seat that has been held by Justice David H. Souter, Judge Sotomayor would be the first Hispanic and only the third woman to serve on the nation’s highest court.
In a moving introduction of Judge Sotomayor at the White House this morning, President Obama described the judge as a person who combines great legal acumen and a belief in the rule of law with a common-sense understanding of how the law affects people every day.
In addition to her varied and extensive legal and judicial experience, Judge Sotomayor would bring to the Court the experiences of a person who grew up in a South Bronx public housing project and overcame difficult challenges to achieve academic and professional success. After her father died, the judge's mother struggled to make a good life for her and her brother. Despite the challenges her family faced, Judge Sotomayor attended Princeton and Yale Law School, served as an Assistant District Attorney, worked as a corporate litigator in a New York law firm, and went on to become the first Latina appointed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Sotomayor has said she believes judges' legal findings are informed by their own life experiences as well as their legal research.
The confirmation process will allow the Senate and the American people the opportunity to learn even more about this very impressive woman and jurist.
The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is a coalition "of more than 40 denominations and faith groups educates and promotes issues of reproductive choice." The United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church USA are among the coalition's members.