Republican strategy on Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor has been mixed so far, with an official response from Congressional leaders expected during the Sunday talk shows or when Congress returns to session on Monday morning.
Republican leaders outside of Congress have opted for a full-throttle attack, with others opting for a more moderate wait-and-see approach.
Grover Norquist, head of the influential tax lobbying group Americans for Tax Reform, said there has been quiet on the Republican front, and for good reason.
“They are avoiding the [Ted] Kennedy rush to the floor to denounce Bork before there is any national discussion. Knowing what we have on her on tape, her decisions, and her rate of being overturned and the quota decision that may be overturned before she gets voted on....the news for her just gets worse. Why announce opposition now?” he told CQ Politics.
Norquist pointed to the rash approach of Ted Kennedy towards the nomination of Robert Bork as evidence that a more muted approach is the best for Sotomayor. But a number of conservative groups and media outlets have already brought into question Sotomayor’s extra-judicial comments and court records to try and work up opposition to her nomination.
The Women’s Coalition for Justice, which is comprised of half a dozen conservative women’s groups, is planning a Tuesday event at which they will voice her concerns over her ambiguous views on abortion.
“Even if President Obama feels ‘comfortable’ with Sotomayor on the court, she herself has never ruled on abortion, nor spoken directly on the matter,” the Susan B. Anthony List said in a statement on its blog. “This is one issue that the American people deserve an answer on.”
The American Center for Law and Justice said the Sotomayor pick would trigger a national debate about judicial activism.
“This nomination raises serious questions about the issue of legislating from the bench,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “We’re hopeful that the members of the Senate will ask the tough questions about her judicial philosophy and temperament when the confirmation hearings get underway this summer.”
Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, is prepared to do that, but maybe not with the strong wording that the ACLJ used – not yet, anyway.
“Our Democratic colleagues have often remarked that the Senate is not a ‘rubber stamp’,” said McConnell. “Accordingly, we trust they will ensure there is adequate time to prepare for this nomination, and a full and fair opportunity to question the nominee and debate her qualifications.”