Sotomayor 1997-98 Version

So what happened in 1997 when President Bill Clinton nominated Sonia Sotomayor for a spot on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals?  And does it mean a rude reception now for her bid to join the U.S. Supreme Court?

Back in 1997, Sotomayor's nomination caused a bit of battling, but most of it behind the scenes.

Her appeals court nomination was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but then she waited months and months for a vote in the full Senate.

"This has not been the Senate's finest hour," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, now the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as he ripped an unknown GOP Senator for holding up Sotomayor's nomination.

"How disturbing and how shameful: trying to disqualify an outstanding Hispanic woman judge by an anonymous hold."

No Republicans spoke on her nomination in the short Senate debate, though 28 of them did vote against Sotomayor.

Of the GOP Senators who voted for her appeals court nomination, eight are still in the Senate today:

* Arlen Specter (now a Democrat)
* Robert Bennett (R-Utah)
* Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi)
* Susan Collins (R-Maine)
* Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire)
* Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
* Richard Lugar (R-Indiana)
* Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)

And as I looked through the roll call from that day, one name really stood out when it came to Senators voting for the Sotomayor nomination - the late Sen. Jesse Helms.

Other notable conservatives voting for Sotomayor back then included Sen. Don Nickles, the Republican Whip, Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and future Senate GOP Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee.

You can also follow Jamie Dupree on both Twitter and on Facebook.