By Peter Marcus, DENVER DAILY NEWS
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall Tuesday officially announced that he plans to vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
A vote of the full Senate is not expected until after July 28th. The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday put off its vote for one week after serious objections were raised by the committee’s most conservative Republicans.
Still, Sotomayor is expected to win confirmation by Sept. 9th, when the Supreme Court will hold its first meeting following recess.
Colorado’s second U.S. Senator, Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Denver, has already stated his support for Sotomayor. In a statement Tuesday, Udall said he wanted to take his time to review Sotomayor’s complete record before making a decision.
“Sonia Sotomayor is a wise choice and a valuable addition to the Court,” he said. “A generation after my father testified in the Senate in favor of Sandra Day O’Connor becoming the first female Supreme Court justice, I am humbled and honored to support Judge Sonia Sotomayor.”
Sotomayor has enjoyed the recent support of several Republicans, including the most recent addition of support from Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
But the majority of Republicans continue to oppose Sotomayor’s confirmation. Independence Institute criminal justice expert David Kopel testified before the Judiciary Committee last week, bringing his analysis of two cases with him.
“In Sonia Sotomayor’s America, the peaceful citizens who possess firearms, bows, or martial arts instruments have no rights which a state is bound to respect, and those citizens are not even worthy of a serious explanation as to why,” stated Kopel.
Sticking points for Republicans remain issues over gun rights, abortion and property rights, to name a few.
Sotomayor was also backed Tuesday by NARAL Pro-Choice America.
“The fate of Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance and the addition of President Bush’s appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, has moved the court in a direction hostile to a woman’s right to choose,” NARAL organizations said in a joint statement. “Within the context of this change in the court’s makeup, we have examined Judge Sotomayor’s responses to privacy-related questions. We are pleased that Judge Sotomayor expressed stronger support for the established constitutional right to privacy than either Chief Justice Roberts or Justice Alito, both of whom had anti-choice records before being nominated to their current positions. She also articulated several times throughout the hearing that the constitutional right to privacy includes the right to choose.”
Bennet said Sotomayor’s diverse personal and legal background has helped her to become a “thoughtful and balanced judge.”
“Judge Sotomayor’s nomination is historic,” he said. “If confirmed, she will be only the third woman and the first Hispanic to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. She brings with her a compelling life story and personal experience that will add to the Court’s diversity and its shared understanding of how its decisions affect the daily lives of hardworking Americans.”
Distributed by Colorado Capitol Reporters