Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), a staunch gun rights advocate, is undecided on how he will vote for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, but said Wednesday that he was satisfied with her stance on Second Amendment issues.
I spent 45 minutes with her, which is unusual for a non-Judiciary Committee member, and I felt the responses she gave were what I was looking for, the freshman Senator said.
While he maintained he was undecided on his vote, Begich indicated he was leaning toward voting in favor. The Judiciary Committee approved Sotomayors nomination on Tuesday on a 13-6 vote. The full Senate is expected to vote on her confirmation next week.
During Sotomayors confirmation hearings, Republicans voiced concerns about how she would approach gun rights and the Second Amendment. Several GOP Senators cited those concerns in casting their no votes.
The National Rifle Association, which said Sotomayor is hostile to the Second Amendment, announced it will include her Supreme Court confirmation vote in its annual review of lawmakers voting records.
Despite the NRAs fierce opposition, Begich maintained that he remains open at this point on Sotomayor.
Begich was one of just three Democrats last week to sponsor a bill that would have allowed licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines. The measure, strongly opposed by the Democrats more liberal wing, was defeated by just two votes on the Senate floor.
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.