Conservatives see silver lining in Sotomayor vote
Liberals cheered the first Hispanic justice, but conservatives say Sotomayor ultimately backed away from a liberal view of the Constitution.
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Liberal advocacy groups celebrated what they hope is the beginning of an historic change at the nation’s highest court. Conservative groups, on the other hand, began preparing the way for a future battle over President Obama’s next high court nominee.
Liberals generally viewed the 68 to 31 Senate floor vote as an important milestone for Hispanics and women, while conservatives expressed concern that once Ms. Sotomayor takes her lifetime seat on the high court, her real views will become clear.
“This is a proud moment for the nation,” said Debra Ness of the National Partnership for Women and Families. “Sonia Sotomayor will be a superb Supreme Court justice and an inspirational figure for generations to come.”
Calling the confirmation “an historic, groundbreaking event that marks the start of a new day for justice in America,” Nan Aron, president of the liberal group Alliance for Justice, said Sotomayor’s influence on the court would be similar to that of Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American justice.
“Her confirmation is just the beginning of the significant change that President Obama can bring to our judicial system,” she said.
In contrast, Americans United for Life (AUL) praised the 31 senators who voted against Sotomayor. “It is a stunning vote of ‘no confidence’ in a nominee whose background of abortion advocacy and record of judicial interventionism raises serious questions about her fitness for the high court,” said AUL President Charmaine Yoest.
Donny Ferguson of the Libertarian Party called the confirmation “a significant defeat for individual, property, and gun rights.”
“Libertarians hope President Obama will work harder in the future to appoint justices who uphold our constitutionally-protected rights, not someone else’s narrow political agenda,” Mr. Ferguson said.