Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s first nominee to the Supreme Court, won confirmation today by the U.S. Senate. The vote was 68 Senators for to 31 against the nomination. Most Republicans opposed the nomination, but a few broke ranks to support her, notably three Senators who are retiring (and therefore have no reason to fear their party’s base) and two liberal Republican Senators from Maine. John McCain, Obama’s opponent in 2008, voted against the nomination, calling Sotomayor a “judicial activist,” while his closest ally, Lindsay Graham, voted yes. Sotomayor will now be sworn in as the first Hispanic to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, replacing David Souter, a liberal Republican appointee who voted the same way she is likely to on most issues. The world now sits and waits for the next Supreme Court vacancy to open up, which will touch off yet another round of debates, hearings and votes that don’t actually change anything.
First Hispanic U.S. Supreme Court Justice approved by U.S. Senate