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Lawmakers react to Sotomayor’s selection

Reaction by members of the Senate to President Barack Obama’s nomination of 2nd Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court has been pouring in swiftly.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chiarman Patrick Leahy, who is in Afghanistan meeting with troops stationed there, said in a statement: “Judge Sotomayor has a long and distinguished career on the federal bench.”

“She has been nominated by both Democratic and Republican presidents, and she was twice confirmed by the Senate with strong, bipartisan support,” the Vermont Democrat’s statement continues.  “Her record is exemplary.  Judge Sotomayor’s nomination is an historic one, and when confirmed she will become the first Hispanic Justice, and just the third woman to sit on the nation’s highest court.  Having a Supreme Court that better reflects the diversity of America helps ensure that we keep faith with the words engraved in Vermont marble over the entrance of the Supreme Court: ‘Equal justice under law.'”

Sen. Arlen Specter, who was a ranking member of the committee before he swithed from the GOP to the Democratic Party, said in a statement: “I applaud the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Her confirmation would add needed diversity in two ways: the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the high court. While her record suggests excellent educational and professional qualifications, now it is up to the Senate to discharge its constitutional duty for a full and fair confirmation process.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the nominee will be treated fairly by Senate Republicans. “But we will thoroughly examine her record to ensure she understands that the role of a jurist in our democracy is to apply the law even-handedly, despite their own feelings or personal or political preferences,” the Kentucky GOP senator said in a statement. “Our Democratic colleagues have often remarked that the Senate is not a ‘rubber stamp.’ Accordingly, we trust they will ensure there is adequate time to prepare for this nomination, and a full and fair opportunity to question the nominee and debate her qualifications.”

Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman said: “President Obama made an impressive choice by nominating Judge Sotomayor for the position of Associate Justice for the Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor’s career represents the best of the American dream and she possesses distinguished and superior legal credentials. I look forward to the upcoming hearings and I hope that there is a bi-partisan effort to ensure a fair confirmation process.”

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