Murkowski Is a No’ on Sotomayor

Posted August 5, 2009 at 6:46pm

Senate Republican Conference Committee Vice Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) announced Wednesday she will oppose the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

“After lengthy introspection, I rise today to inform my colleagues that I am unable to support the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to serve on the Supreme Court. This is a difficult result for me because I have grown fond of Judge Sotomayor on a personal level,— said Murkowski, whose decision had been one of the big question marks leading into tomorrow’s expected vote.

Murkowski becomes the latest in a string of GOP SEnators to oppose the nomination. The only Republican leader supporting the confirmation is Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.).

“But as much as I like Judge Sotomayor and I am impressed with the obstacles she has overcome, there are aspects of Judge Sotomayor’s record that make me uncomfortable,— Murkowski said. “I have heard from about 1,400 Alaskans who are troubled by what they know of Judge Sotomayor as well. This discomfort arises from Judge Sotomayor’s speeches as well as her decisions in key cases involving the Second Amendment and property rights. Alaskans are by their nature independent thinkers and this nomination has rightly engaged their attention.—

Murkowski has often broken with her party, and many Republicans and Democrats had speculated the Murkowski she would ultimately back Sotomayor.

Eight Republicans have announced they are supporting Sotomayor — Alexander, Kit Bond (Mo.), Dick Lugar (Ind.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Mel Martinez (Fla.), Judd Gregg (N.H.) and Maine’s Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.