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Democrats Confident of Sotomayor Confirmation

On the eve of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s Senate confirmation hearings, Democrats predicted she will be approved easily.Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on “Fox News Sunday— that she believes Sotomayor’s confirmation is a sure thing.Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) echoed Feinstein on CBS’ “Face the Nation,— saying he expects Sotomayor will be confirmed.Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) predicted that a large majority of Democrats and Republicans would vote in her favor.“There’s a good chance that [she’ll get] as many, if not more, votes than Judge Roberts got, which was 78,— Schumer said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,— referring to Chief Justice John Roberts, who was nominated by President George W. Bush. “She is going to be approved by a large margin.—Feinstein, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also defended Sotomayor’s judicial record and past speeches. She said she generally does not prejudge nominees, but she expects to vote for Sotomayor.Senate Republicans are expected to try to paint Sotomayor as a judicial activist by pushing back on her rulings involving the Second Amendment and a case involving discrimination against a group of white firefighters.Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, said Congress is facing “a crossroads in American jurisprudence,— with the nation in jeopardy of departing from its traditional insistence that judges be impartial and follow the law without prejudice. “On issue after issue she has indicated an advocacy position,— instead of an allegiance to the law, Sessions said of Sotomayor.But Leahy accused Republicans of being “nitpicky,— overlooking the judge’s long history of unchallenged rulings and looking for threads that they can pull to criticize her. “I would hope it will not turn into a partisan fight, for … the good of the Supreme Court,— he said.Despite likely hard questioning over Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday— that he doesn’t expect Republicans to try to filibuster her nomination.“I think she’ll be given a fair hearing,— Cornyn said. “Yes, I think she’ll have an up-or-down vote.—Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on NBC’s “Meet the Press— declined to say whether he would support Sotomayor.“I want to see the hearings,— McCain said. “Those are a very critical part.—