Senate confirms Sotomayor for Supreme Court

Senate confirms Sotomayor for Supreme Court

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] confirmed Sonia Sotomayor [WH profile; JURIST news archive] for the Supreme Court by a vote of 68-31 Thursday. The vote split mainly along party lines, with only nine Republicans voting to confirm. Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Republican Jeff Sessions [official website] (R-AL) delivered closing remarks before the vote, repeating his previous concerns [press release] that Sotomayor would be guided by personal bias. President Barack Obama [official website] said that he was pleased with the 68 votes [press release], stating:

The members of our Supreme Court are granted life tenure and are charged with the vital and difficult task of applying principles set forth at our founding to the questions and controversies of our time. Over the past 10 weeks, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate have assessed Judge Sotomayor's fitness for this work. They've scrutinized her record as a prosecutor, as a litigator, and as a judge. They've gauged her respect for the proper role of each branch of our government, her commitment to faithfully apply the law to the facts at hand, and her determination to protect our core constitutional rights and freedoms.

And with this historic vote, the Senate has affirmed that Judge Sotomayor has the intellect, the temperament, the history, the integrity and the independence of mind to ably serve on our nation’s highest court.

Sotomayor will be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday morning, taking the place of retiring [JURIST reports] Justice David Souter [official profile, PDF; JURIST news archive]..

On Tuesday, the Senate began debate [JURIST report] on Sotomayor's confirmation. Her nomination was approved by the Judiciary Committee [JURIST report] last week by a 13-6 vote, mostly along party lines. Prior to that vote, Sotomayor faced questions from senators during late July confirmation hearings [JURIST report]. Earlier last month, the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary [association website] gave Sotomayor a unanimous "well-qualified" rating [JURIST report].