There was little doubt that President Barack Obama's first high court nominee would be confirmed with bipartisan support as early as Thursday, but senators lined up to weigh in on her fitness for the bench anyway, with an eye toward the history books, the nation's burgeoning Hispanic electorate and perhaps the next Supreme Court battle.
"Judge Sotomayor's journey to this nomination is truly an American story ... (and) a reminder to all of the continuing vitality of the American dream," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the Judiciary Committee chairman. His opening remarks framed Sotomayor's confirmation as a step on the nation's still-evolving "path of inclusion" that began with the Bill of Rights and continued with the extension of voting rights to women and enactment of the civil and voting rights laws of the 1960s.
"She's a restrained, experienced and thoughtful judge who has shown no bias in her rulings," Leahy said.
Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the panel's top Republican and his party's pointman on Sotomayor, called her a devotee of an approach that heeds "the seductive siren call of judicial activism" and is contrary to the "classical underpinnings" of the nation's legal system.
"Judge Sotomayor's expressed judicial philosophy rejects openly the ideal of impartial and objective judging. Instead, her philosophy embraces the impact that background, personal experience, sympathies, gender and prejudices — these are her words — have on judging," Sessions said.
Democrats point instead to a long record of rulings in which Sotomayor has reached the same conclusions as judges who are considered more conservative. They call her a moderate who is restrained in her legal interpretations and argue that her controversial remarks — while perhaps worded inartfully — show nothing more than a belief that diverse experiences help a judge see all sides of a case.
Gah! There's that word again - diversity.
Some say the Left is not religious. Poppycock! The Left does indeed have a religion - a religion just as tightly held on to as the "people clutching their guns" - and that religion is The Cult of Diversity. The orgasmic fervor of the Diversity Cultists upon the election of the Anointed One now has its aftershock with the confirmation of a non-white, non-male to the SCOTUS.
Democrats are preparing to claim a big victory with Sotomayor's confirmation. They planned a midday rally Wednesday on Capitol Hill with civil rights, minority and women's groups.
... which sort of shows what this all about, doesn't it?