Gillibrand takes credit for Sotomayor

Facing the ongoing prospect of a primary challenge, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) was quick to note Tuesday that she promoted the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

Sotomayor is from Gillibrand's home state, which provided the senator with an opportunity be among the first Sotomayor backers.

On Tuesday, Gillibrand re-released a letter she wrote to President Obama, promoting both Sotomayor and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar:
There are, of course, many excellent and qualified Latino candidates, but we commend to your attention two in particular who we believe would be exceptional Supreme Court Justices should a vacancy arise:

Judge Sonia Sotomayor and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Both of these individuals are legally excellent, ideologically moderate, and would add diversity to the Court.

From within the judicial sphere, Judge Sotomayor would make an excellent selection. She has had a long and distinguished career as a public servant, and since 1998, has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, one of the most important Circuits in the nation. Nominated by former President Clinton, Judge Sotomayor received broad bipartisan support in the Senate. Before her appointment to the Second Circuit, she served as a District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York - a position for which she was nominated by former President George H.W. Bush and confirmed unanimously by the Senate. Even prior to her tenure on the federal bench, Judge Sotomayor demonstrated her commitment to public service and the rule of law by working as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office.

It is interesting, though, that Gillibrand labels Sotomayor as "ideologically moderate." Maybe not exactly what liberal Democrats want to hear, but probably not anything that will raise too many eyebrows.

-Aaron Blake