Our approach is fairly surgical, looking at a nominees record on business decisions, said Robin Conrad, executive vice president of the National Chamber Litigation Center. She said the chamber has endorsed every Supreme Court nominee who has come up in the past 20 years, including Sotomayor, whom it noted spent time representing business interests as a law partner.
The chamber shies away from the hot-button wedge issues that motivate other groups such as abortion and gun rights.
We dont get into social issues, Conrad said. Also, the business group has not launched big-dollar, high-profile lobbying fights on judiciary nominees as it has done on other issues such as health care and financial reform.
The National Rifle Association, an organization with deep pockets and wide membership, does at times get involved in Supreme Court battles. The gun group criticized Sotomayor, claiming she was hostile to Second Amendment rights and noted she joined an appellate court decision that rejected a challenge to a New York law banning a martial arts weapon called a nunchaku.
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said that as is the case with many other groups in Washington, it was holding its fire as it awaits Obamas nomination for Stevens seat before deciding how to proceed.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.