Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Senator Collins announces intent to vote to support Sotomayor

U.S. Senator Susan Collins today issued the following statement announcing that she will vote to support the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to serve as the 111th justice of the United States Supreme Court.

“I have decided to vote in favor of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to serve as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The decision of whether to confirm a nominee to the Supreme Court is a solemn responsibility of the Senate and one that I approach with the utmost care.

“In considering judicial nominees, I carefully consider their qualifications, competency, personal integrity, and judicial temperament. Judge Sotomayor has impressive legal experience, has excelled throughout her life, and is a tremendously accomplished person. Indeed, the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary—after an exhaustive review of her professional qualifications, including more than 500 interviews and analyses of her opinions, speeches, and other writings—unanimously rated her “well-qualified.” And based on my review of her record, my assessment of her character, and my analysis of her adherence to precedent, Judge Sotomayor warrants confirmation to the high court.

“I know that I will not agree with every decision Justice Sotomayor reaches on the Court, just as I disagree with some of her previous decisions. However, upon reading these decisions, talking personally with her, and hearing her responses to probing questions, I have concluded that Judge Sotomayor understands the proper rule of a judge and is committed to applying the law impartially without bias or favoritism.

“My expectation is that Justice Sotomayor will adhere to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s admonition that “a wise old woman and a wise old man would eventually reach the same conclusion in a case.” Based on her responses to the Judiciary Committee, she will avoid the temptation to usurp the legislative authority of the Congress and the executive authority of the President. As Chief Justice John Marshall famously wrote in Marbury v. Madison, the Court must “say what the law is.” That, after all, is the appropriate role for the federal judiciary. For a judge to do more would undermine the Constitutional foundations of the separate branches.

“I will vote to confirm Judge Sotomayor as I believe she will serve our country honorably and well on the Supreme Court.”

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