1,200 law professors sign up as Sotomayor fans
Nearly 1,200 law professors from across the country signed up to support U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, and one early Republican critic says he may even vote for her.
With the stage set for her nationally broadcast Senate confirmation hearing next week, President Barack Obama’s first pick for the highest U.S. court seems headed toward confirmation as the first Hispanic U.S. justice.
Backers and opponents of Sotomayor have called her a liberal. Yet a group of law professors squarely in her corner say she is a moderate who goes by the book — the law book.
Calling it an unprecedented show of support, the law professors sent a letter praising Sotomayor as a “brilliant, careful, fair-minded jurist” to Senate Judiciary Committee leaders.
Several of the professors told reporters that despite the belief of many backers and critics, they do not consider Sotomayor a liberal.
“There is a remarkable consensus here of how this ‘liberal tag’ … ought not be applied to her,” Daniel Richman of Columbia Law School said. ”She is very much a straight-forward, moderate judge.”
The support by the law professors came a day after the American Bar Association gave Sotomayor its top rating and she won the endorsement of leading law enforcement groups.
Critics are also gearing up for the hearings. Conservatives, including Republican senators, stepped up their criticism, and a number of gun rights activists urged senators to oppose her nomination.
One early critic, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, said, “The only way she can get derailed is if she performs poorly next week,” according to The Miami Herald. He said he remained undecided, but ”I honestly think I could vote for her.”
Photo credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas (Sotomayor at a meeting with a senator)