Ben Nelson to Support Sotomayor

Posted August 3, 2009 at 2:06pm

Moderate Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) announced Monday that he will back Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court.

Nelson told the Lincoln Journal Star on Monday that he will back President Barack Obama’s first high court pick, saying Sotomayor’s “record shows she is not an activist … [and has] a great respect for the law.—

Nelson was one of a small group of Democrats and Republicans whose vote was not entirely certain: Alaska Sens. Mark Begich (D) and Lisa Murkowski (R) also have not said how they will vote.

Begich and Nelson have both been targeted by conservatives and the National Rifle Association, which has been trying to drum up opposition to the nomination. But while the NRA has raised red flags about her installment on the bench, the normally powerful group has largely seen its efforts fall on deaf ears.

Murkowski’s vote is of particular interest given her post as vice chairwoman of the Republican Conference. If she decides to support the nomination, she would become the second GOP leader to do so — Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) announced last week that he will vote in favor.