Senate Republicans are holding their fire. For example, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)—perhaps the most conservative member of the Senate—said that some of Sotomayor’s writings “seem to raise serious questions about her approach to the Constitution and the role of the federal judiciary.”
But that’s about as far as he was willing to go, and he even vowed to “withhold judgment” on Sotomayor’s nomination “until she has the opportunity to fully present her views before the Senate.”
Another conservative, Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, said Sotomayor “deserves fair and open hearings and a dignified confirmation process.”
Bottom line: The GOP needs Hispanic voters en masse if it is ever to become a governing majority party again. This choice seems difficult for a party that is mostly white, male and Southern. Look for Republicans to raise some objections to her legal opinions, but to walk very gingerly on issues of her race, gender and wonderful American immigrant success story.
Sophia A. Nelson is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and is a regular contributor to The Root.