Sotomayor Clears Committee
by Charles Lemos, Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 01:38:55 PM EDT
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court on a mostly straight party-line vote. The final tally was 13 to 6 in favor with GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina joining the dozen Democrats on the Committee. More from the New York Times:
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted, 13 to 6, on Tuesday to endorse the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, easing her path to likely confirmation as the first Hispanic member of the tribunal.
As expected, all 12 Democrats on the judiciary panel voted for Judge Sotomayor, after praising her intellect, character and inspiring personal history. But among the seven Republicans on the committee, only Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina voted in favor.
The committee action sends the nomination to the full Senate, where her confirmation by a comfortable margin seems to be assured.
The vote might be significant in another way however. The newest member of the Senate, Senator Al Franken (I will never tire of saying this), spoke truth to power right before the vote. More below the fold.
From the Minnesota Independent:
Franken was the last senator to speak before the vote, but his statement was perhaps the most arresting as he threw off the mild-mannered mantle of a first-month senator and threw down a gauntlet over high-court rulings he termed "judicial activism."
It was a theme that he struck more tentatively during committee hearings and today promised to revisit when the nomination reaches the Senate floor.
"Individual rights, individual protections and individual liberties" are under attack by the current Supreme Court, Franken asserted, pointedly citing other senators on specific high-court rulings with which he found fault.
With a vehemence not yet seen in his short tenure in Washington, D.C., Franken took issue with rulings on abortion, voting rights, price fixing, age discrimination, and corporate entanglement in elections.
Noting how court actions have overturned or threatened even recent precedent, Franken said, emphatically, "This is judicial activism. This is a court that's willing to reverse itself ... to achieve its own agenda of what is right. ... A vote for Sonia Sotomayor is a vote against judicial activism."
Thank you Senator Franken for calling it as it is.