Thune Latest GOP Leader to Oppose Sotomayor

Posted July 20, 2009 at 4:32pm

As expected, the Senate Republican leadership continues to line up against the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, with Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Thune (S.D.) on Monday joining Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) on the list of official “no— votes.

Thune joins a growing list of Republicans who publicly oppose the nomination. But a number of GOP Senators have also announced their support — including Sens. Dick Lugar (Ind.), the longest-serving Senate Republican, Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Mel Martinez (Fla.). Sotomayor is expected to be easily confirmed by the full Senate following a vote in the Judiciary Committee next week.

In a statement sent out Monday, Thune cited Sotomayor’s position on gun rights as the key reason for voting against her nomination.

“Judge Sotomayor has a compelling personal story and I appreciate her meeting with me. I carefully followed last week’s Judiciary Committee hearings as members questioned Judge Sotomayor on her judicial philosophy and her record of decisions from her time on the bench.

“After this review I have concluded that Judge Sotomayor has consistently advanced a narrow view of the Second Amendment, providing little reasoning or explanation for her decisions, and twice has ruled that the Second Amendment is not a fundamental right.’ This is an important distinction because the Supreme Court has made this determination a key element in deciding whether to apply parts of the Bill of Rights, such as the Second Amendment, to state and local governments,— Thune said.

Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee released Sotomayor’s written responses to more than 220 questions from panel members.