Breaking: Sen. Lindsey Graham to Vote to Confirm Sotomayor

We’re looking for MSM confirmation now…

Got it:

Washington, D.C. (WLTX, AP) – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham says he intends to vote for Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court.

The South Carolina Republican made the announcement Wednesday afternoon on the Senate floor.

Graham said he felt compelled to vote yes, because of his belief that elections have consequences. He says he and Senator John McCain made it clear to the American public that selections to the U.S. Supreme Court were at stake in the 2008 election, and that the public chose to go the way it did.

Whatever that means. Mostly, I think it means Graham is tired of hearing how bigoted he and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) came across during the confirmation hearings.

The Difference Between Retiring from Office and Running for One

“Judge Sotomayor is knowledgeable of the law, would be a fair and impartial judge, and seems to have a good understanding of the limited role the judiciary plays in our democracy. Judge Sotomayor’s rise to the Supreme Court is testimony to the fact that the American dream continues to be attainable. As an Hispanic American, I take great pride in Judge Sotomayor’s historic achievement. Given her qualifications and testimony this week, I intend to vote in favor of her confirmation.”

— Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), who is not running for re-election, announcing his intention to vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court.

“I have reviewed and reflected upon her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and come to the conclusion that I cannot support her appointment to the United States Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor is worthy of respect for her many accomplishments and her remarkable story of success. However, I have strong concerns that Judge Sotomayor would not strictly and objectively construe the constitution and lacks respect for the fundamental right to keep and bear arms. For these reasons, I cannot support her appointment to the highest court in the land.”

— Gov. Charlie Crist (R-Fla.), who is running for the seat currently held by Sen. Mel Martinez, and whose primary opponent, former House Speaker Marco Rubio (R-Miami), went on the record opposing Sotomayor’s confirmation the day before Charlie’s announcement. Crist’s statement left Floridians wondering when they’d ever heard the governor mention his support for gun rights in the past.

Breaking: Sotomayor Vote Delayed by Republicans

Ken Rudin is reporting that Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee canceled today’s vote on Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Today’s scheduled vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court has been postponed until next Tuesday.

Republican senators on the committee, as is their prerogative, asked for a one-week delay. Ranking Republican Jeff Sessions of Alabama officially requested the delay, and chairman Pat Leahy accepted it.

The committee will reconvene next Tuesday, July 28.

Sessions and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have taken heat for their relentless beating on the dead horse of Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” comment. Is this their petulant revenge?

Update: C-Span confirms

Judging Sonia: Republicans Reveal Themselves

“It’s the American way that we judge people as individuals, not as groups. And by that standard we can say unequivocally that this particular wise Latina, with the richness of her experiences, would far more often than not reach a better conclusion than the individual white males she faced in that Senate hearing room. Even those viewers who watched the Sotomayor show for only a few minutes could see that her America is our future and theirs is the rapidly receding past.”

— Columnist Frank Rich, commenting on the Supreme Court confirmation hearings, and the hypocrisy and isolation of the Republican senators who questioned her.

GOP Chose Neo-Confederate Senator to Lead Bogus Charge of Racism against Sotomayor

It is no accident that Senate Republicans chose Jeff Sessions of Alabama as ranking member on the Judiciary Committee in advance of hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Sessions was chosen to lead the prosecution of Sotomayor on the charge that she is a racist — a non-starter for regular Americans but may help with fundraising among the GOP’s neo-Confederate base — because of Session’s own record of racism, which led to his losing a nomination before the same committee in 1986.

Sessions was serving as chief prosecutor for the Southern District of Alabama and making a name for himself through his prosecution of drug dealers when President Reagan nominated him to be a federal judge. But according to sworn statements by Justice Department lawyers, Sessions called the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union “communist-inspired” and said they tried to “force civil rights down the throats of people.” Sessions reportedly said of the Ku Klux Klan that he “used to think they’re okay” until he learned that some Klan members were “pot smokers.” Sessions said his words were in jest or had been misrepresented.

Because of these comments, the Judiciary Committee voted 9-9 against sending his nomination to the full Senate for a vote. It was only the second time in 48 years that a judge nominee had been voted out.

How right-wing is Sen. Sessions? In October 2005, he was one of nine senators to vote against an amendment to outlaw torture.

Another Republican Senator Insults Sotomayor

It is truly hard to imagine a Democratic senator announcing he’d already made up his mind to vote against him, and then refusing to meet with John Roberts when he was up for appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Can’t you just hear the righteous Republican indignation? Come to think of it, it would have been completely justified indignation.

But according to Republican rules, when one of them does it, it’s A-OK. Or even when two of them do it.

First it was Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who said there was no point in meeting with Obama nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Can you imagine if Democrats had done this to a Bush nominee?

Sen. James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who previously voted against Sotomayor’s current post as a federal appeals court judge, told the Tulsa World Thursday it is a “foregone conclusion” that he would not support Obama’s pick for the high court…

“The reason is he already knows how he is going to vote and it’s probably best not to take up her time, she’s very busy,” Inhofe communications director Jared Young told CNN.

At least consideration for Sotomayor was the stated reason for Inhofe’s decision (although ThinkProgress points out he reached it 11 years before she was nominated).

Now it’s Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) who is too mindful of the clock to meet with Sotomayor.

Sen. Bob Corker blew off his meeting with Sonia Sotomayor last week. Hobbling along with her leg in a cast, she was 10 minutes late and he said he didn’t feel like waiting. “I decided to proceed on to the next meeting,” he told a Tennessee Press Association breakfast in Chattanooga.

This kind of treatment is insulting and shabby and reflects poorly on the high office these men hold. Common courtesy is the hallmark of the Senate, but these two dolts obviously didn’t get the memo.

Why Republicans Resist Sotomayor

A new Gallup poll sheds light on why the Republican Party is so resistant to President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court:

The survey said only 11 percent of Republicans are Hispanics or blacks or members of other races. More than six in 10 are white conservatives and the rest whites with other ideological leanings. That compares with 36 percent of Democrats who are Hispanics or non-white and 27 percent of independents.

The Republicans would do well to ignore their innate racism (party chair Michael Steele excepted) and listen instead to the will of the American voters as uncovered by a recent Quinnipiac poll:

American voters approve of President Obama’s pick of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court by a 54 percent to 24 percent margin, with 22 percent still undecided. Democrats support the nomination by 81 percent to 3 percent and independent voters by 50 percent to 26 percent, while Republicans oppose it 46 percent to 26 percent. Men approve of the nomination 48 percent to 31 percent while women approve 59 percent to 18 percent.

SCOTUS Perks: Dough’s Good, Travel’s Great

High court hijinks: This didn’t get much play in the MSM when it was released a few days ago, but here are some details of the Supreme Court justices’ 2005 travel and financial information for your edification and delight. Note: the money ain’t bad, and the travel perks are great. Unless you’re Clarence Thomas, that is.

Chief Justice John Roberts: Two trips, to New Haven, Conn., for a moot court and to London to teach a Georgetown University Law School summer program. Sold stock in companies such as Coca-Cola Co. and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc. in September, a week before his Senate confirmation. Assets: $2.9 million to $7 million.

Justice John Paul Stevens: Four trips, to Chicago to throw out the first pitch of a Chicago–Cincinnati game and talk to lawyers, to Las Vegas for a lawyers meeting, to Fordham Law School in New York and to an American Bar Association meeting in Chicago. Assets: $1.5 million to $3.5 million.

Justice Antonin Scalia: Received permission to file report late (after the media reports, don’t you reckon?).

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy: Fifteen trips, including to Thailand for a meeting of Asian judges; to Hong Kong University; to Salzburg, Austria, to teach a course for McGeorge School of Law; to Prague, Czech Republic, for a meeting of the American Bar Association; and to Fresno, Calif., for a courthouse dedication. Assets: $65,000 to $195,000.

Justice David H. Souter: One trip, to Harvard Law School for a moot court. Assets: $5.6 million to $26.3 million.

Justice Clarence Thomas: Three trips, to Omaha, Neb., to teach at Creighton University; to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a program of the Horatio Alger Association; and to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to lecture at the University of Alabama. Assets: $150,000 to $410,000.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Nine trips, including a teaching assignment at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law and speeches at Duke University, the University of Kansas, Wake Forest University, West Virginia University and Emmanuel College in England. Assets: $6.4 million to $28 million.

Justice Stephen Breyer: Fourteen trips, including a lecture in Melbourne, Australia, and the Saban Forum in Israel. Sold stock in Gannett Co., Merck & Co. and Fannie Mae, while buying stock in Nestle SA, Carnival Corp. and Teva Pharmaceutical. Assets: $3.4 million to $11 million.

Justice Samuel Alito: Two trips, while living in New Jersey, to Washington for a Constitution Project event at Georgetown Law School and to Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va., to give a speech, both before his nomination to the court. Assets: $665,000 to $1.7 million.

Source: Financial Disclosure Reports, filed with the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts.