Sotomayor Debate Begins

Maybe I have forgotten some of the debates on recent Supreme Court nominees.  But this one really seems to be completely on the back burner.

As Senators start floor consideration of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination, there is no sense of any activity up here that would even make this "feel" like a Supreme Court nomination.

Other than anti-abortion activist Randall Terry and a couple of civil rights groups, there has been almost no action around this Senate debate, which is being overshadowed by other issues.

Maybe it was this way before Justices Alito and Roberts were voted on by the full Senate.  Maybe it was this way for Ginsburg and Breyer in the Clinton years.

There is simply much more attention right now on health care reform in the Senate.  For example, what will Democratic Senators be meeting with President Obama about over lunch at the White House today?

Health care will be much higher on the agenda than Sotomayor.

That said, not many Republicans are going to vote for her nomination.  There were early predictions that she would get well over 70 votes.  It won't be close to that.

Clear evidence of that came from Sen. John McCain, who bitterly attacked Sotomayor's nomination during a floor speech on Monday, accusing her of being an activist judge.

"Judge Sotomayor does not seek fidelity to the law as she promised in her confirmation hearings," McCain said on the Senate floor, accusing her of legislating from the bench.

"I have not supported such nominees in the past and I cannot support such nominees for the highest court in the land," McCain added.

Frankly with opposition like that, Sotomayor will be lucky to get many more than 60 votes, as Republicans like McCain have raised concerns about her views on the Second Amendment and more.

Since the Senate is on the verge of a break that lasts until the day after Labor Day, I would bet on a vote Thursday night, to let everyone catch the first plane out of town on Friday, quickly forgetting about a vote that isn't getting much attention now, but will certainly be remembered in the future.