Leahy Lauds Sotomayor’s Nomination

Posted May 26, 2009 at 9:58am

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday hailed President Barack Obama’s nomination of federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, saying her record is “exemplary.—

Leahy, whose committee has jurisdiction over the nomination, predicted last week before Sotomayor was selected that Obama’s choice would be confirmed by the time the high court reconvenes in early October.

Leahy called the nomination of Sotomayor, the first Hispanic tapped for the Supreme Court and the third female nominee, historic. Sotomayor, 54, has long been on Obama’s short list for prospective high court picks to replace retiring Justice David Souter.

Leahy said the fact that both President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton named her to federal judgeships bodes well for her ultimate confirmation. “She has been nominated by both Democratic and Republican presidents, and she was twice confirmed by the Senate with strong, bipartisan support. Her record is exemplary. Judge Sotomayor’s nomination is an historic one, and when confirmed she will become the first Hispanic Justice, and just the third woman to sit on the nation’s highest court,— Leahy said in a statement.

Leahy, in an interview last week with Roll Call, said that while the exact timing of the nomination process is unclear, he did not expect a relatively noncontroversial nominee with an extensive background to face serious hurdles. He said then that he hopes the Senate could wrap up the confirmation by the beginning of August when the chamber is set to adjourn for the summer recess.