Daily Archives: August 6, 2009

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SHOCKER!: Sonia Sotomayor approved along racial, partisan and gender lines

Supreme Court Justice designate Sonya Sotomayor waves as she ...

Associated Press photo

Sonia Sotomayor, the newest addition to the U.S. Supreme Court, waves to fans today in New York City. Sotomayor is the nation’s first Hispanic and only the nation’s third female U.S. Supreme Court justice — and the first Democratic president’s appointment to the nation’s highest court since Bill Clinton appointed Stephen Breyer in 1994. “In opposing Sotomayor, Republicans risk a backlash from her fellow Hispanics, the fastest growing U.S. minority. Hispanics make up 15 percent of the U.S. population and voted by a two-to-one margin for Obama in the 2008 presidential election,” notes Reuters.

So I’m looking to see who voted for and who voted against Sonia Sotomayor today in the U.S. Senate. Sotomayor today won confirmation as the nation’s first Latina U.S. Supreme Court justice on a vote of 68 to 31.

(The only senator who didn’t vote was Democrat Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts; undoubtedly his vote would have been in favor of Sotomayor’s confirmation, so that would have been 69 to 31… All 31 of the votes against Sotomayor were cast by Repugnicans; gee, which party is looking out of step with the nation these days?)

From the horse’s mouth — the U.S. Senate’s website — it looks like the vast majority of today’s “nay” votes are from white male Repugnican senators from red states.

Voting nay today were:

John Barrasso, Wyoming

Robert Bennett, Utah

Sam Brownback, Kansas

Jim Bunning, Kentucky

Richard Burr, North Carolina

Saxby Chambliss, Georgia

Tom Coburn, Oklahoma

Thad Cochran, Mississippi

Bob Corker, Tennessee

John Cornyn, Texas

Mike Crapo, Idaho

Jim DeMint, South Carolina

John Ensign, Nevada

Michael Enzi, Wyoming

Chuck Grassley, Iowa

Orrin Hatch, Utah

Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas

James Inhofe, Oklahoma

Johnny Isakson, Georgia

Mike Johanns, Nebraska

Jon Kyl, Arizona

John McCain, Arizona

Mitch McConnell, Kentucky

Lisa Murkowski, Alaska

James Risch, Idaho

Pat Roberts, Kansas

Jeff Sessions, Alabama

Richard Shelby, Alabama

John Thune, South Dakota

David Vitter, Louisiana

Roger Wicker, Mississippi

So again, that’s all 31 votes against Sotomayor cast by Repugnicans and not a single vote against her cast by a Democrat or an independent. No surprise there.

That’s 29 male votes against Sotomayor and two red-state Repugnican female votes against her — no surprise there, either.

That’s also 31 white votes against Sotomayor — I looked at the website for each of the senators who voted against her, and each of the 31 senators looks pretty white to me.

The states that these nay-saying senators are from are the usual suspects, too: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky,  Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wyoming — all but a few of these 20 states are solidly red states, and all 20 of them except Iowa, Nevada and North Carolina went to Repugnican John McCainosaurus in November. (Those states in bold are those states for which both senators voted against Sotomayor.)

It was convenient to use gun rights or the like as an excuse to vote against Sotomayor, but let’s face it: the No. 1 reason for the “nay” votes is that she’s not a right-wing white man.

And it’s clear from today’s vote on Sotomayor’s confirmation in the Senate that the Repugnican Party is a national party no more, but is the party of the South and a handful of podunk states in the West.

P.S. Nine Repugnican senators did vote for Sotomayor. They are:

Lamar Alexander, Tennessee

Christopher (“Kit”) Bond, Missouri

Susan Collins, Maine

Lindsey Graham, South Carolina

Judd Gregg, New Hampshire

Richard Lugar, Indiana

Mel Martinez, Florida

Olympia Snowe, Maine

George Voinovich, Ohio

These states went to Obama in November, with the exception of Missouri, Tennessee and South Carolina, and Obama lost Missouri by less than 0.2 percent.

Collins and Snowe are considered to be among the most liberal of the Repugnicans, and I don’t know why they don’t just switch parties already, since Maine is pretty blue.

There are a total of 17 women in the U.S. Senate, four of them Repugnican and 13 of them Democratic.  Democratic female senators from the red states of Arkansas and Louisiana and the purplish state of Missouri voted in favor of Sotomayor’s confirmation.

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