Just as Supreme Court hopeful Sonia Sotomayor begins her personal lobbying campaign of Capitol Hill, conservative judicial groups are upping the pressure on Senate Republicans to oppose her nomination.
The Judicial Confirmation Network sent a letter Tuesday to every Democratic and Republican Senator, calling Sotomayors judicial record into question.
In particular, the group takes issue with Sotomayors comments in a 2001 speech in which she said, Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasnt lived that life.
Wendy Long, the JCNs legal counsel, wrote to Senators: Judge Sotomayor challenges the belief that the law needs to be knowable and predictable, borrowing from the early 20th century Legal Realists who rejected the idea that judging involve the impartial application of neutral principals.
JCN is also rolling out the formation of grass-roots coalitions in about 10 states later this week, according to JCN Executive Director Gary Marx.
While other conservative groups have called on Senate Republicans to try to filibuster the Sotomayor nomination, Marx said the JCN is not advocating that. The JCN opposes the nomination but doesnt believe a filibuster is appropriate.
We believe in having a long and vigorous and thorough, healthy debate, Marx said. But we continue to not support a filibuster or any kind of judicial filibuster.
We think thats not appropriate, and weve maintained that principle whether there has been a Democrat or Republican president in the office.
The JCNs letter comes on the heels of another letter by more than 120 conservatives, including Third Branch Conference Chairman Manuel Miranda, American Values Gary Bauer and Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform.
The conservatives letter, which was sent to Senate Republicans on Tuesday, calls on Republicans to force a lengthy debate on Sotomayor.
Our concern arises from the little effort and time, Senate-wide, that was devoted to judicial nominations since the Alito confirmation, and during two election cycles, that group wrote. We have good reason to be concerned also given the extent of Senate effort and scrutiny in the confirmations of Associate Justices Breyer and Ginsberg.
Committee for Justices Curt Levey, a co-signer of the letter, said its too early to know whether the Senate GOP will heed the groups call.
Lindsey Graham definitely gets a star for saying that Sotomayor should apologize, Levey said, referencing the Republican Senator from South Carolina.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.