On the eve of the Senate Judiciary Committee's vote on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, the panel's senior Republican let it be known today he will vote against her.
Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, one of Sotomayor's most skeptical questioners during her confirmation hearings earlier this month, said in an op-ed published online in USA Today that he believes her record shows her to be a judicial activist.
He is the latest conservative Republican to come out against Sotomayor, who is almost certain to be confirmed with the backing of some moderate Republicans and expected unanimous support from Democrats.
"I don't believe that Judge Sotomayor has the deep-rooted convictions necessary to resist the siren call of judicial activism," he wrote. "She has evoked its mantra too often. As someone who cares deeply about our great heritage of law, I must withhold my consent."
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UPDATE: The No. 2 Republican on the committee, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, also said today that he'll vote against Sotomayor.
Grassley says Sotomayor didn't convince him she'd be able to set aside personal biases and prejudices to decide cases impartially, and also says he still feels burned by his support for Justice David Souter, whom Sotomayor would replace if confirmed and who turned out to be more liberal than former President George H.W. Bush expected, according to the Associated Press.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.