Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Sotomayor Vote

How many senators will vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor, when the full Senate votes on the nomination?

She seems to be able to count on all 60 votes of the Democrats and their Independent allies, barring any skeletons making a late emergence from her closet (keep in mind the sequence of events in the 1991 Clarence Thomas confirmation).

According to several reports, including this one in The New York Times, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, "signaled that he intended to vote for her."

Based on his membership in the "Gang of 14", a group of senators who tried to find middle ground regarding Bush judicial nominations that were blocked by Democrats, Graham has a history of being less hard-line about such nominations than other Republicans. Without much specific evidence of the intent of individual senators, my quick-and-dirty count comes up with about 23 Republican senators who I'm guessing would be less likely than Graham to support the nomination.

That would indicate at least 77 "aye" votes, and I wouldn't be surprised to see more than that. Compare that to 78 votes for Chief Justice John Roberts, and only 58 votes for Associate Justice Samuel Alito.

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