1,200 law professors sign up as Sotomayor fans

July 8, 2009

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. USA/

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.”

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas (Sotomayor at a meeting with a senator)

5 comments

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There is a marked difference between securing an appointment in a massively favorable political environment and being chosen essentially on the merits.

Jay Adler

eva peron-sotomayor embodies all that the legal establishemnt dreams of: with 60% of her decisions overturned and no clear vision of separation of powers, she’s an heroine for those who wish to rule from the bench without having to run for office

Posted by jd | Report as abusive

she is like most of us that blog on these pages,she is a political activist.could each one of us be honest with our selves as say we would not have a bias,i don,t think so.that is why i would not vote for her.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

I agree with the article that Sotomayor is a moderate to conservative judge. She was appointed by George H.W. Bush and has sided with fellow Republican-appointed judges the majority of the time. In the 96 cases of racial discrimination, Sotomayor and the panel rejected the claim of racial discrimination roughly 78 times. Three times, Sotomayor has written opinions supporting anti-abortion protestors or the anti-abortion stance. It amazes me that Republicans oppose her at all. Do they expect the next nominee to be more conservative than Sotomayor? Republicans should take the gift and be delighted to be so incredibly lucky, instead of saying no just to be the party of No.

Posted by Talia | Report as abusive

talia do you think for one minute that obama or the democrats would even consider a candidate that had the description of being middle ground that you are suggesting?if this was even a remote possibility the far left would be screaming from the house tops and i have not heard one single voice of disagreement from planned parenthood or aclu, so to me their silence blows away your spinning.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive