SCOTUS: With 68 Votes, Sotomayor Approved As Associate Justice

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Judge Sonia Sotomayor was approved as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The final Senate vote tally was 68 votes for her nomination, 31 votes against. 

The one Senator not voting was Sen. Kennedy, who expressed support for her nomination but was not present today in DC for the vote due to his illness.

In what may be a perfect distillation of Senate behavior, rules constrictions and impotence, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid finished his support speech a couple of minutes early, around 2:58 pm ET.   But the Senate couldn’t begin the vote on the Sotomayor nomination until exactly 3 pm ET because there was no one from the GOP leadership who would agree with Reid  to a time change for the vote.

In the end, the NRA push wasn’t nearly enough to shove GOP opposition. Frankly, I think having to resort to them as a last-ditch effort made McConnell look awfully weak. And I have to wonder if there will be a leadership challenge in the GOP Senate caucus in the next election cycle if this weakness continues.

 
52 Responses to "SCOTUS: With 68 Votes, Sotomayor Approved As Associate Justice"
Teddy Partridge | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:18 pm 1

w00t!

Can’t wait to see her sworn in. Any idea when that will happen, Christy?


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:21 pm 2
In response to Teddy Partridge @ 1

Most likely sooner rather than later. She has to hire clerks for the upcoming term and have them in place and ready to begin reading and working on filings prior to the start of term on October. Souter retired at the end of the last term, so no one has been doing that legal work for the next justice — she’ll have to get up to speed pretty quickly.

I’ve been wondering if she’d bring any of her clerks from the 2nd circuit — but I don’t know how that works if you switch positions midstream on moving clerk around, especially when they’ve made NYC living arrangements.


demi | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:23 pm 3

What a moment. And, to think that Christy called this from the beginning. Well, suggested it, anyway.
And, Franken presiding, to boot.
A real nice moment.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:24 pm 4
In response to demi @ 3

From every little signal I was getting from my sources, all the hints seemed to point toward her for some reason. I got lucky on that call, I suppose, but it was luck informed by a strong gut feeling. *g*


demi | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:25 pm 5

How ’bout that Breck Girl’s vote? I suppose we’ll be hearing a lot on that.


allan | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:27 pm 6

The Republicans genuinely wanted this to be a bipartisan vote,
and yet all the Democrats would do was slap them in the face.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:27 pm 7
In response to demi @ 5

It is most likely a vote cast for the GOP primary — same with McCain and Bennett of Utah, I suspect.


demi | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:27 pm 8
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 4

Right. Luck, fueled by gut instinct, fueled by experience, having made contacts and doing your homework. I’d like to know if Any of the folks voting today read as many of Sotomayor’s opinions as you did.


Leen | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:29 pm 9

68/31…whee hee

Will be interesting to watch the 2010 races and how this vote effects any of those 31 who voted no


Millineryman | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:30 pm 10

Congrats to Associate Justice Sotomayor. With the backdrop of the teabaggers and birthers, this confirmation demonstrates that elections do indeed matter.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:31 pm 11
In response to allan @ 6

I think it is telling that a number of the GOP votes cast for her were from Senators who are retiring at the end of this term: Warner, Bond, Martinez, and Alexander spring to mind, but I think there is at least one more (Gregg?) — and then the perennial swing votes of Collins, Snowe and Graham as well.

The ones in tough primary battles for the next election cycle, or at least facing likely nasty primary mudflinging — those were votes against (McCain, Bennett of UT, Hutchinson going for the TX gov., etc.)


demi | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:35 pm 12

Anyone else need a hankie?


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:36 pm 13
In response to Millineryman @ 10

There was a lot of anecdotal evidence that she can be quite personable and persuasive with colleagues on the 2nd circuit. I do wonder if her selection will manage to make the vote from Justice Kennedy any more likely on the closer 5-4 opinions. Guess we’ll see once she gets sworn in and sits through her first term of Court.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:38 pm 14
In response to demi @ 12

No, but I could use a drink. After sitting through days of them droning on and on about this, I could really use one. I’m beyond grateful that the vote finally occurred — it’s really tough to sit through endless kabuki Senate floor speechifying when you know what the likely outcome of the vote will be days in advance.


bobh | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:41 pm 15

A great selection. Next time Obama should go for the Full Monty and nominate an ultra-liberal like Pam Karlin. I want to see the Republicans sputter and fulminate.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:43 pm 16
In response to bobh @ 15

Karlin or Chemerinsky, either one — but I’m not holding my breath. *g*


Phoenix Woman | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:44 pm 17
In response to bobh @ 15

I want to see Larry Tribe, myself.


demi | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:44 pm 18

I’m not weeping or anything like it, but I did get a little misty-eyed.
A neighbor of mine just moved out of state and left me several nice bottles of wine. How does a spritzer sound?
I’m glad she’ll have the time to confirm her staff and get moved and all. Whew! And, then of course the same for her replacement.
We are making baby steps progress in a better direction. I know that some radical progressives feel that todays climate includes same old, same old, but I see a diversity at the top that wasn’t there before.


Millineryman | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:46 pm 19

We’ll see, and I hope she has a great influence on the court. I’m very happy to see her there.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:47 pm 20
In response to demi @ 18

That can make an enormous difference. I know Justices O’Connor and Ginsburg have always been a huge inspiration for me — not because I always agree with them, but just because they opened many, many doors for the rest of us.

That takes some serious guts. And Sotomayor will open even more. Bravo.


Leen | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:47 pm 21
In response to demi @ 18

Sure would have liked to have seen her mothers face as this was being voted on. Get chills thinking about it.

You go Sonia’s mom…you go Sotomayor!


Funnydiva2002 | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:48 pm 22

Great day.

Although this final piece of A$$holery should be trumpeted far and wide:

In what may be a perfect distillation of Senate behavior, rules constrictions and impotence, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid finished his support speech a couple of minutes early, around 2:58 pm ET. But the Senate couldn’t begin the vote on the Sotomayor nomination until exactly 3 pm ET because there was no one from the GOP leadership who would agree with Reid to a time change for the vote.

Nyah, nyah! Gonna delay this TWO MORE MINUTES BECAUSE WE CAN!!
(Yeah, Thugs, want me to call Whine-one-one for a Waaaaahmbulance?)

Or was it that the Minority leadership couldn’t be bothered to show up and vote no?

FunnyWheelieDiva


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:50 pm 23
In response to Funnydiva2002 @ 22

Senators were actually filing into the chambers at that point — they do a sort of formal thing for big votes like this when they all file in and take their seats and vote in person that way. It’s reserved for a SCOTUS vote, whether or not to go to war, etc — but most of them were already in the chamber at that point.

Waiting 2 minutes for everyone seemed a little hinky to me given that, but there you are. It’s the Senate “clubby” thing triumphing over the clock.


demi | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:50 pm 24

Step away from the glass still falling from that ceiling and, I hope you have some seltzer in the fridge…
http://www.fotosearch.com/PHT293/paa296000008/


demi | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:52 pm 25
In response to Leen @ 21

Heard on the tv, someone in Her office said immediately after the tally was announced, her phone rang and the office grew silent. They thought it might be the president. It was her mom.
(((mom)))


AngelsAwake | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:53 pm 26

Thank God, it’s finally done. Sotomayor, I welcome your arrival to the Court!


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:55 pm 27
In response to demi @ 25

Now that’s hilarious.


Funnydiva2002 | Thursday August 6, 2009 12:55 pm 28

OK, if you say so. Would’ve killed some people to make sure they were there a couple minutes early…or, doG forbid, to actually listen to Reid’s closing statement.
Yeah…nemmermine.

Maybe it is time for another You work for US tour.

Demi@25
That’s a cute story. Go Mom!!! She deserved the respectful silence anyway. I’m sure the pres was on the line very soon after.

FWDiva


cbl2 | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:03 pm 29

here, have a mojito

thank you for all your work on this – the legal info, the backgrounder items – excellent as always. haven’t commented much, but boy is it appreciated.

oh dog, mojito isn’t too Coburnish is it ??


AZ Matt | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:05 pm 30

Hooray!!!

Drinks all around!!! (on Christy’s tab, that one there barkeep)


twolf1 | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:10 pm 31

Diaper Dave Vitter is proud of his no vote: “Voted no on Sotomayer based on her 2nd Amend views and activist record. Judges should be umpires and not pick sides based on personal bias.”


Leen | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:11 pm 32

hey folks this is ot
but please spread the word far and wide

Jane and team need $$$$ read why
http://campaignsilo.firedoglake.com/


Bluetoe2 | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:11 pm 33

One step forward. Obama would seem to be now talking about “health insurance practices reform.” Two steps back.


BargainCountertenor | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:15 pm 34
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 7

What good does it do to win the primary only to lose the general?


demi | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:15 pm 35
In response to Bluetoe2 @ 33

Hey you, Mister Little Ray of Sunshine.


hackworth1 | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:20 pm 36
In response to twolf1 @ 31

Vitter is betting that voting against an hispanic will help him get re-elected. I don’t know if that’s a good bet or not. I know the diaper and the prostitute won’t help.


hackworth1 | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:21 pm 37
In response to twolf1 @ 31

Vitter the Shitter: Personal bias bad. Corporate bias good. Hookers also good.


JaneaneTheAcerbicGoblin | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:22 pm 38

68-31, eh? This may sound strange, but I’m glad it wasn’t overwhelming “bipartisan”. That would mean a weak nominee in my opinion.

I’m glad that JUSTICE Sotomayor managed to piss off 31 Republicans enough so they wouldn’t vote for her, or more specifically, daring to be herself and making Republicans mad in the process.

Surprised there were no Blue Dog Democratic defections. I thought there would be at least one Blue Dog voting against her (in a stupid effort to “reach out” to Republicans, or to give Obama the finger, which amounts to the same thing).


FormerFed | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:29 pm 39

Frankly, it looked to me like Reid was just confused and didn’t know what to do next. The announced time for the vote was at the hour and you are correct in saying that there was still movement on the floor.

Of course some of the Senators were late to the party anyway. More Rs than Ds as I recall from the late votes.


BargainCountertenor | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:38 pm 40
In response to hackworth1 @ 36

Maybe Vitter’s right. I’m not sure what the ethnic breakout is in Louisiana for 2010. But fer-sure fer-sure McCain’s created hisself a serious problem in the 2010 general election.


john in sacramento | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:39 pm 41
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 2

Sooner than that even, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) is scheduled for Sep 9


Bluetoe2 | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:50 pm 42
In response to demi @ 35

A realist and my French heritage makes me a bit of a cynic.


4jkb4ia | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:51 pm 43

She didn’t get 70, but for Barack Obama and against demagogues, two thumbs up.


tejanarusa | Thursday August 6, 2009 01:55 pm 44

Coming in late, but not an R – Yaaaaay! Go, Justice Sonia! Go, Christy!

Nice to get a victory once in a while.


SunnyNobility | Thursday August 6, 2009 02:10 pm 45

Great, cheering news!

A proud day for mom.


Dem02020 | Thursday August 6, 2009 02:11 pm 46

Good, now people can put this madness behind them, and maybe stop exaggerating the importance and authority of the Supreme Court.


PopeRatzo | Thursday August 6, 2009 02:50 pm 47
In response to Teddy Partridge @ 1

I heard she’s to be sworn in on Saturday.


RevBev | Thursday August 6, 2009 02:53 pm 48
In response to Millineryman @ 10

ON NPR the guy from New Orleans, Andrew Cojescu (?)…dont know about the spelling…did a great piece on the birthers….yep, thinks they’re crazy. and he’s funny. Says foreigners sound like him…..


demi | Thursday August 6, 2009 03:14 pm 49
In response to Bluetoe2 @ 42

Whatever works for you.
How do you say party pooper in French?


rxbusa | Thursday August 6, 2009 03:41 pm 50
In response to demi @ 49

soirée poupon?


tejanarusa | Thursday August 6, 2009 04:02 pm 51
In response to RevBev @ 48

RevBev | Thursday August 6, 2009 06:49 pm 52
In response to tejanarusa @ 51

Yep, Thank you. Maybe I will remember next time. I love the guy. He was so put out….


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