The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 68-31 Thursday to confirm President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic on the nation’s highest court.
When she takes the oath Saturday from Chief Justice John Roberts, Sotomayor, 55, also will become the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
A federal judge for 17 years, Sotomayor was lauded by Democrats as fair-minded but accused by Republicans of lacking impartiality, according to a news article by Reuters. She was nominated to replace retired Justice David Souter, and her elevation is not expected to bring a shift in the court’s ideological balance, Reuters reported.
Her journey to the Supreme Court was “unlikely and historic,” starting with her birth in a Bronx, New York housing project and taking her to the nation’s highest bench, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Nine Republican senators supported Sotomayor. Yet she was confirmed largely along party lines.
Sotomayor’s confirmation vote was the second most divided in the last 16 years. Other confirmation votes were: Samuel Alito Jr., 2005, 58-42; Chief Justice Roberts, 2005, 78-22; Stephen Breyer, 1994, 87-9; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 1993, 96-3. Four Democrats voted for Alito, and 22 Democrats for Roberts; both justices were nominated by Republican President George W. Bush.
These Republicans voted for Sotomayor’s confirmation: Sens. Lindsey Graham of (more…)