06 August 2009

They Voted for You: Sotomayor

U.S. Sens. Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va., helped confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday.

The Senate voted 68-31 to allow President Barack Obama's first high court nominee to become its first Hispanic justice as well as its third woman and its 111th justice overall.

The Associated Press reports that "Democrats praised the 55-year-old Sotomayor as a mainstream moderate. But most Republicans voted against her, saying she'd bring personal bias and a liberal agenda to the bench."

But "in the final tally, nine Republicans joined majority Democrats and the Senate's two independents to support Sotomayor's confirmation," the article continued. "Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., suffering from brain cancer, was absent."

AP also reported that "the Senate chamber was heavy with history as senators cast their votes in turn. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., 91, the longest-serving senator who has been in frail health following a long hospitalization, was brought in in a wheelchair to vote. "

Politico also noted that "The confirmation vote brought back the Senate’s oldest and longest-serving member, Robert Byrd, who has been recovering from an illness for the past several weeks."

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