Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Obama to Nominate Sonia Sotomayor to SCOTUS

This is from MSNBC:

President Barack Obama tapped federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court on Tuesday, officials said, making her the first Hispanic in history picked to wear the robes of a justice.

If confirmed by the Senate, Sotomayor, 54, would succeed retiring Justice David Souter. Two officials described Obama’s decision on condition of anonymity because no formal announcement had been made.

Administration officials say Sotomayor would bring more judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any justice confirmed in the past 70 years.

A formal announcement is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. ET in the East Room of the White House.

Obama had said publicly he wanted a justice who combined intellect and empathy — the ability to understand the troubles of everyday Americans.

Democrats hold a large majority in the Senate, and barring the unexpected, Sotomayor’s confirmation should be assured.

If approved, she would join Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second woman on the current court.

I’m sure the wingnuts have a full barrage lined up and ready to fire — Joe Scarborough was citing her “far-out” rulings this morning — but that’s what they’ve been gearing up for since before Souter announced his retirement: they were going to be against anyone President Obama nominated just as an autonomic response. And there have been the threats of a filibuster by some Republicans, who have conveniently forgotten that just a few years ago, when Samuel Alito was nominated and the Democrats muttered about blocking his appointment, they termed filibustering a judicial nominee as unconstitutional. But that now that there’s a Democrat in the White House, it’s perfectly acceptable. Rail on, supercilious twits.

I’m guessing, based on her confirmation to the federal bench in 1998, that she’ll be confirmed by more than 80 votes in the Senate.

Bio of Judge Sotomayor here.

HT to TPM.