It was a little surprising — in a good way — that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who was pretty tough on Judge Sonia Sotomayor during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, announced that he intends to vote for her.
Graham endorsed Sotomayor just minutes after Jon Kyl of Arizona, the second-ranking Senate Republican, said he would vote against her. Graham and Kyl are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that is scheduled to vote on her nomination on July 28.
“I find her to be well qualified,” said Graham, even as he expressed reservations about some of her off-the-bench remarks.
“I would not have chosen her if I had made this choice as president, but I understand why President Obama did,” Graham said. “Elections matter.”
He becomes the fifth GOP senator to declare his support for her, following Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Mel Martinez of Florida and Richard Lugar of Indiana.
But what’s a little more surprising, if not a little discomforting, is that former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told NPR’s Michele Martin that she deserves to be confirmed.
MARTIN: And what is your assessment of that? What’s your view of that, if you got a vote? Which I recognize you’re saying you don’t, but if you had a vote, do you think she does?
GONZALES: Well, listen, based on the answers to the questions, I think that yes, she should be confirmed.
Given Mr. Gonzales’s history of hiring and firing attorneys when he was running the Department of Justice, it’s not exactly the kind of endorsement you seek out. But hey, it’s better than a poke in the eye, I suppose.
HT to TP.