SCOTUS nominee to meet and greet at Capitol

Judge Sonia Sotomayor is expected to make her case in person this week as she visits Capitol Hill for the first time as President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

And despite harsh criticisms from prominent conservative figures, the federal court of appeals judge can expect a fair hearing from the people who will actually vote on her confirmation: sitting U.S. senators.

A review of the morning talk shows Sunday evidence that while Republicans sitting on the Senate Judiciary Committee have a healthy dose of skepticism about Sotomayor’s legal record, none were willing to vote against her or commit to a filibuster yet. And almost all praised her tough upbringing as a child of a single mother growing up in a South Bronx public housing project.

Perhaps most importantly, none of the Republicans repeated the most explosive charge coming from party figures such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and conservative talk radio show host Rush Limbaugh — that Sotomayor is a racist. Most dispelled that argument outright or declined to comment on it. 

In fact, Sotomayor found high praise in an unusual place: Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHouse Dem moves to force vote on bill protecting Mueller Toobin goes off on Dershowitz for ‘carrying water’ for Trump Overnight Regulation: Groups sue over decision to end pay-data rule | EU proposes tax on tech companies | Sessions issues memo on death penalty for drug cases | Pruitt spent 5K on first class flights MORE (R-Ala.). On "Meet The Press" Sunday, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s ranking member described her as having an “almost ideal” mix of experience for a Supreme Court nominee, with her resume boasting stints as a prosecutor, private litigator and a trial judge before sitting on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

On her tour of Capitol Hill, Sotomayor can begin trying to soothe worries over her statement that resulted in the racism charges. The judge gave a 2001 speech in which she suggested that a Latina woman would make a better judge than a white man.

That has angered Republicans the most, but those who appeared on the Sunday talk shows all seemed willing to listen to the New York judge’s explanations behind the speech.

Scheduled on Sotomayor’s itinerary this week are reportedly visits with Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTrump presses GOP to change Senate rules Only thing Defense’s UFO probe proves is power of political favors Nevada Democrat accused of sexual harassment reconsiders retirement: report MORE (D-Nev.) and possibly his counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCollins: 'Extremely disappointing' ObamaCare fix left out of spending deal House poised to vote on .3T spending bill Budowsky: Stop Trump from firing Mueller MORE (R-Ky.). Also included are stops with Sessions and Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyMcCabe oversaw criminal probe into Sessions over testimony on Russian contacts: report Graham calls for Senate Judiciary hearing on McCabe firing McCabe firing roils Washington MORE (D-Vt.), the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman.

What is the most useful for the nomination process from Sotomayor’s extensive record is not her 17 years on the bench but that she has gone through Senate confirmation twice.

She is also no stranger to judicial politics. Her nomination to the court of appeals was held up by Republicans in 1998 over worries that she would make it to the Supreme Court. Now, more than 10 years later, Sotomayor will begin to make that case in person this week.