Lindsey Graham goes against the GOP grain in voting for Sotomayor

S.C. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham chose to go against the grain when he voted in favor of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court.

It's an interesting move, and Graham has penned a piece explaining why he did it and why he thinks it was the right move.

Here's a chunk of his reasoning:


Today, I voted in the Senate Judiciary Committee for Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court.  I understand the path of least resistance for me would be to vote no.  But I feel compelled to vote yes.  This is the right vote for me and, I believe, the country.  Here’s why:

Elections Have Consequences

I told Judge Sotomayor in the Judiciary Committee hearing that if Senator McCain had won the election, she probably would not have been nominated.  Senator McCain would have chosen a qualified jurist with a more conservative background – someone similar to Chief Justice John Roberts or Miguel Estrada.  Judge Sotomayor is definitely a more liberal judge than a Republican president would have nominated, but elections have consequences. 

Judge Sotomayor is Very Qualified

Judge Sotomayor is one of the most qualified nominees to be selected for the Supreme Court in decades. She has seventeen years of judicial experience, twelve of those on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  I have reviewed her record closely.  She follows precedent and has not been an activist judge that would disqualify her from office.  She has demonstrated left-of-center reasoning but within the mainstream – a fact other Republicans on the Judiciary Committee have openly acknowledged.

She has an outstanding background as a lawyer. She was a prosecutor for four years in New York. Her record of academic achievement is extraordinary – growing up under very difficult circumstances, being raised by a single mother, going to Princeton, being picked as the top student there, and doing an extraordinary job in law school at Yale.  She has received the highest rating of ‘well qualified’ by the American Bar Association for her nomination to the Supreme Court, which was an important reason why I supported Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito.


Hop on over to Graham's Web site to read his full reasoning, he goes on to defend a president's right to pick a Justice.

I'm certainly not alone in thinking this one is interesting, Brad Warthen wrote this on his political blog

Sen. Graham is one of those people — like Joe Lieberman — who causes me to think harder about a position if I find myself disagreeing with him, because I know he’s thought really hard about it. And he’s a really smart guy.  

Here's Warthen's full thoughts.

This one's a couple of days old but as I've been distracted by a move, it's new to me and I thought it worthy of a plug.

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