Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said Monday night that Republicans will "hopefully" refrain from filibustering President Obama's next Supreme Court nominee.
Over the weekend, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) opened the possibility of filibustering the yet-to-be-named replacement for Justice John Paul Stevens, who said last week he would retire during Obama's presidency.
Klobuchar, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that Republicans see some political advantage in blocking a nominee, but said that the case of Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation last year showed that Republicans would back down, especially if the nominee is of minority status.
"In the end, on the Sotomayor case, as you know, they backed down," she said on MSNBC. "There were a lot of people within their own party who had different feelings about her. They didn't want to piss off every Hispanic voter in the country."
Klobuchar's words come after speculation began as to who Obama will choose to replace Stevens, a liberal justice who turns 90 this month.
This weekend, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) said that he hopes the president picks a nominee with a more diverse professional background.
So far, a short list of candidates has contains two judges, Diane Wood and Merrick Garland, as well as Obama's solicitor general, Elena Kagan.
Last August, nine Republicans, including former Sen. Mel Martinez (Fla.), voted for Sotomayor's confirmation, which was approved 68-31.
"They knew that she had some qualities. It didn't mean they all voted for her, but they sure -- you know, they asked her tough questions and then the hearing got done, and she got confirmed. And I'm hopeful that will happen as well in this case," Klobuchar said.