(KCPW News) As he promised he would, Senator Orrin Hatch joined nearly all his Republican colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee today in voting against Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation. But first, he insisted that he wanted to vote in favor of the nominee, as he had in the past for every other nominee to the Supreme Court during his nearly 33 years in the Senate.
“I came to the confirmation process wanting to vote for a President’s nominees, and the prospect of a woman of Puerto Rican heritage serving on the Supreme Court says a lot about our country, America,” he said.
Hatch said he wrestled with how to vote on Sotomayor’s confirmation, before deciding to cast a “no” vote.
He only criticized the nominee in general terms during today’s hearing, but released a more detailed statement, arguing that Sotomayor believes the right to bear arms is “insignificant,” and that she hasn’t upheld private property rights.
“Her speeches and articles evidenced and described a troubling approach to judging that her hearing testimony did not resolve, as far as I was concerned,” he said before today’s vote. “In some of her most important cases, she gave short shrift to fundamental constitutional rights.”
Despite Hatch’s objection, the committee approved Sotomayor’s confirmation by a 13-to-6 vote. Utah Senator Bob Bennett has also pledged to vote against her on the Senate floor.