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White House blasts GOP ‘nays’ on Sotomayor

Yesterday White House press secretary Robert Gibbs criticized Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans who voted against President Barack Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee, saying they were playing politics.

During the confirmation hearings for nominee Sonia Sotomayor, and again before yesterday’s committee vote, some GOP members pointed out that Obama, as a senator, voted against confirming Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. and Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., despite saying they were qualified. Gibbs said that was no reason to vote against Obama’s pick.

“The sense that you’re gonna make a vote on the Supreme Court based on how somebody voted in 2005. … that’s certainly one circuitous way to look at it,” Gibbs told reporters in his office yesterday, according to a report by Politico.

Gibbs also noted that for some senior Republicans on the committee, it was the first time they voted no. For example, yesterday marked Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley’s first “no” vote on a Supreme Court confirmation in his 29 years in the Senate.

Some committee Republicans “”have had a chance to vote on now eight, nine, 10, 11 Supreme Court nominees and in some cases this is the first time they’re voting against one,” Gibbs said.

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