In another example of why we are so glad that so many of our gente supported President Obama over Sen. John McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona recently announced that he’ll vote against Sonia Sotomayor when her confirmation comes up for the full Senate vote on Thursday.
Of his decision to oppose the nomination of the nation's first Latina Supreme Court nominee, McCain trotted out the same old, tired and inconveniently wrong assertions about her record, sounding more like proven racist Sen. Sessions that the old "moderate maverick" he claims to be. Declaring that Sotomayor had "again and again" sought to "amend the law to fit the circumstances of the case," McCain said, "Regardless of one’s success in academics and in government service, an individual who does not appreciate the common-sense limitations on judicial power in our democratic system of government ultimately lacks a key qualification for a lifetime appointment to the bench. For this reason, and no other, I am unable to support Judge Sotomayor’s nomination."
Many Latino groups were surprised by McCain's decision, especially since he just made a television appearance on Sunday in which he admitted that the GOP had a long way to go in order to gain support from the Hispanic voting block. "I am of the belief that unless we reverse the trend of Hispanic voter registration, we have a very, very deep hole that we’ve got to come out of,” McCain told CNN’s State of the Union.
Rosa Rosales, national president of the League of United Latin American
Citizens, pointed out that McCain’s claim that Sotomayor does not respect the limitations on judicial power "could not be farther from the truth." Nan Aron, head of the liberal Alliance for Justice, also noted, “It’s ironic that such a longtime defender of presidential prerogative is doing an about-face and voting 'No' on Sotomayor.”
What's driving McCain's opposition? Most likely local and party politics. He is expected to coast through to an easy reelection next year in Arizona, a state with a huge Latino population, and by voting "No" on Sotomayor, he earns a proverbial slap on the back from right-wing conservatives and is able to once again criticize President Obama.