The next step in Sonia Sotomayor's expected elevation to the nation's highest court will come a week from today, on July 28.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, announced today that the panel will vote July 28 instead of today after Republicans requested a delay.
Sotomayor is still on track to get a vote in the full Senate in time to join the Supreme Court in time for its next term. And today, Senator Susan Collins of Maine became the fourth Republican senator to announce support for Sotomayor, joining her fellow Mainer Olympia Snowe, Richard Lugar of Indiana, and Mel Martinez of Florida.
"I know that I will not agree with every decision Justice Sotomayor reaches on the Court, just as I disagree with some of her previous decisions. However, upon reading these decisions, talking personally with her, and hearing her responses to probing questions, I have concluded that Judge Sotomayor understands the proper rule of a judge and is committed to applying the law impartially without bias or favoritism," Collins said in a statement. (Read her full statement here.)
“My expectation is that Justice Sotomayor will adhere to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s admonition that 'a wise old woman and a wise old man would eventually reach the same conclusion in a case.' Based on her responses to the Judiciary Committee, she will avoid the temptation to usurp the legislative authority of the Congress and the executive authority of the President. As Chief Justice John Marshall famously wrote in Marbury v. Madison, the Court must 'say what the law is.' That, after all, is the appropriate role for the federal judiciary. For a judge to do more would undermine the Constitutional foundations of the separate branches.
“I will vote to confirm Judge Sotomayor as I believe she will serve our country honorably and well on the Supreme Court.”
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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 email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.