Senate Judiciary Committee Overwhelmingly Approves Sotomayor

Ever since President Barack Obama nominated her to sit on the Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor has endured a stream of false and race-baiting attacks on her record, but the right never laid a glove on her. Indeed, as the Senate Judiciary Committee’s lopsided 13-6 vote in her favor demonstrates, such attacks never resonated beyond a fringe group of lawmakers who viewed her nomination as another opportunity to demonstrate their kneejerk opposition to anything President Obama favors.

Make no mistake: Judge Sotomayor will be confirmed in a similarly lopsided vote next week, and the only senators to oppose her will be the same group of hardcore conservatives determined to hand President Obama his “Waterloo.” Their single-minded desire to see Obama fail is unfortunate, but it thankfully will not succeed in keeping an outstanding nominee off the Supreme Court.

The real question is whether the five conservative senators who have announced their intention to vote for Sotomayor—Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mel Martinez (R-FL), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC)—will continue to place the nation’s interests ahead of politics, or whether they will join their kneejerk colleagues in opposing health care reform, a sensible energy policy, and long-needed financial regulation. The American people cannot afford to have their health and financial security gambled away in a right-wing attempt to “break” President Obama, and they are counting on lawmakers to abandon the right’s Waterloo strategy once and for all.

Ian Millhiser is a Legal Research Analyst at American Progress.

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