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NRSC Chairman Cornyn to oppose Sotomayor

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynLawmakers feel pressure on guns Kasich’s campaign website tones down gun language after Florida shooting Murphy: Trump’s support for background check bill shows gun politics ‘shifting rapidly’ MORE (R-Texas), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, announced Friday that he would oppose the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, despite representing a state that is nearly a third Hispanic.
 
Cornyn’s opposition is significant because as NRSC chairman he is one of the Senate GOP’s chief political strategists. He is also a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a former Texas Supreme Court justice.
 

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His decision to oppose Sotomayor is a signal to other Republicans that they can oppose the nation’s first Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court without too much fear of offending Hispanic voters.

“While her record was generally in the mainstream, several of her decisions demonstrated the kind of liberal judicial activism that has steered the court in the wrong direction over the last few years,” Cornyn said in floor remarks Friday.

“And many of her public statements reflected a surprisingly radical view of the law. Now, some have said that we can ignore her speeches and just focus on her decisions as a judge. I disagree.
 
“And those speeches contain very radical ideas on what the role of a judge is. In her speeches, she said: There is no objectivity in law; courts should change the law to make new policy; and ethnicity and gender can and even should impact a judge’s decision-making.”
 
Cornyn told The Hill in a recent interview that he was mindful of the large Hispanic population in Texas, which is estimated at 32 percent, but that demographics wouldn’t force his vote one way or another.
 
Cornyn stressed the importance of showing the nominee respect and during confirmation hearings he made sure to display a courteous demeanor, at one point apologizing to Sotomayor for interrupting one of her answers — a rare show of manners in a Senate hearing.
 
But during breaks in the testimony, Cornyn said he was not satisfied with her answers and suggested that she had given the committee contradictory testimony.
 
“She appeared to disavow some of her comments and then today she walked back from that and seemed to reassert those words,” Cornyn said during the third day of the testimony. “I think it’s very confusing.”
 
Sotomayor’s bid for Republican support suffered Thursday when the National Rifle Association sent a letter to Senate leaders announcing that it would score the nominee’s confirmation vote on “future candidate evaluations.”
 
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCongress punts fight over Dreamers to March Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico GOP looks for Plan B after failure of immigration measures MORE (S.C.) is the only Republican member of the Judiciary panel to announce his support for Sotomayor.

Conryn is the third Republican on the Judiciary panel to voice opposition to Sotomayor. Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOvernight Finance: NAFTA defenders dig in | Tech pushes Treasury to fight EU on taxes | AT&T faces setback in merger trial | Dems make new case against Trump tax law | Trump fuels fight over gas tax What sort of senator will Mitt Romney be? Not a backbencher, even day one Lawmaker interest in NAFTA intensifies amid Trump moves MORE (R-Utah) also announced Friday his intent to vote nay. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) came out against Sotomayor on Wednesday.
 
Several Republicans, including Sens. Richard Lugar (Ind.), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Tech: Judge blocks AT&T request for DOJ communications | Facebook VP apologizes for tweets about Mueller probe | Tech wants Treasury to fight EU tax proposal Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand FCC to officially rescind net neutrality rules on Thursday MORE (Maine) and Mel Martinez (Fla.), have also said they would vote for her.