Sotomayor is sworn in, but the politics are far from over
It’s a dilemma for the GOP, particularly among Hispanic voters. But Democrats could feel a backlash if she’s perceived as too liberal.
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In a New York Times blog post, Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, says the sizable GOP vote against Sotomayor (plus the harangues of unofficial party leaders like Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich) are “more than enough to remind [Hispanics] of why they don’t vote Republican very often these days.”Skip to next paragraph
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At the University of Minnesota’s “Smart Politics” blog, Eric Ostermeier points out that the potentially most-vulnerable GOP senators -- those with the lowest margin of victory in the party caucus -- all voted against Sotomayor.
It’s a dilemma for the GOP, Mr. Kohut points out, particularly since polls showed that a plurality of Republicans (and a majority of conservative Republicans) opposed the Sotomayor nomination.
“The vote represents the dilemma the GOP faces coming out of its 2008 and 2006 election defeats: how to keep its base happy, on the one hand, and broaden its appeal to women, Latinos, and young people, on the other,” Kohut writes.
All may not be grim for Republicans as Sotomayor gets fitted for her new judicial robes and crams for her first deliberations on the high court.
Writing on FoxNews.com, Ken Klukowski of the conservative American Civil Rights Union argues that the 68 - 31 confirmation vote is “a mixed result at best, and if her rulings from the bench show a clear liberal philosophy then the end result will be negative for the White House and Democrats.”
“The president and his party, and especially Senate Democrats from red states, will now have to answer for Sotomayor if she proves true to expectations as a solidly-liberal justice,” Mr. Klukowski writes.
It’s too soon to know if that proves true, of course.
But using statistical analysis, researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, predict that “Justice Sonia Sotomayor will cast a liberal vote in roughly 67 percent of cases during her first term on the Supreme Court, which will make her the most liberal member of the current court.”
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