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Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary

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Senate Republicans Continue Partisan Gamesmanship and Delay Vote of Qualified Judicial Nominee

Jul 21, 2009

In spite of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s exceptional performance before the Judiciary Committee, the GOP delays vote on her nomination.

WASHINGTON, DC – During a time in judicial history when a bipartisan cry of support has splashed the front pages of every major media outlet in the Untied States, the Republican Party has sent a chilling blow to the nomination process of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. This morning, Senate Republican Judiciary leader, Jeff Sessions, without adequate explanation, mandated a seven day delay to the confirmation of our nation’s next Supreme Court Justice.

“MALDEF is bitterly disappointed that Senate conservatives have delayed the Judiciary Committee’s vote on Judge Sotomayor’s nomination,” stated MALDEF Interim President and General Counsel, Henry Solano. “Unable to assail Judge Sotomayor’s life story, qualifications, or moderate judicial record, Senate conservatives are left only to postpone the vote in an attempt to placate their conservative constituencies. Such political posturing does a disservice not only to a judge who has proved to be eminently qualified, but also to the country, now eager to see its diversity reflected in the make-up of the United States Supreme Court.”

“The Republicans’ decision to delay the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote on Judge Sotomayor is unnecessary and disturbing,” said Ramona E. Romero, President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA). “Given her clear qualifications and responses to the Committee’s oral and written questions, the delay’s only apparent purpose is to expose the Judge to more baseless attacks to which she cannot respond because of protocol. It is disappointing and unfortunate that the Republicans on the Committee have chosen to put posturing and partisan politics ahead of fairness and principled judgment. We urge all members of the Senate, Republicans and Democrats, to do the right thing and support Judge Sotomayor’s immediate confirmation.”

"Republican leaders are justifying their delaying tactics on one decision out of the 3000 that Judge Sotomayor has made over the course of her career - a decision which she made based on legal precedent. They then point to one comment taken out of context as proof she will be a judicial activist. Well, they cannot have it both ways,” stated Maria Cardona, Co-Founder of Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary. “Any Senator who stands with the Republican leadership on this ought to be ready to explain their political delay tactics to voters all across the country who see themselves in Judge Sotomayor's quintessential American success story."

"The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda met with many members of the Senate Judiciary Committee prior to Judge Sotomayor's confirmation hearing to discuss our support for the nominee. Comments from Senators and their representatives on both sides of the aisle were consistent; that Judge Sotomayor is an impressive and qualified candidate and that the confirmation process must be fair, focused on real issues and expedient. Through last week, the committee has conducted an organized and sensible proceeding. The recent efforts by the Republican Majority leader to further delay the fair consideration of one of the most experienced nominee to the Supreme Court in generations, based on unfounded and undocumented claims of bias and inability to faithfully apply the law is unsettling." said Lillian Rodriguez-Lopez, Chair of NHLA and President of the Hispanic Federation. She continued, "Judge Sotomayor's 17 year record as a federal judge clearly proves otherwise."

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Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary (HFJ) was formed in April 2005 in order to provide Hispanic leaders across the nation a platform and voice in matters related to our nation's judicial system. HFJ is an unaffiliated, non-partisan, independent network of elected officials, legal, civil rights, labor, academic and political leaders who care deeply about the impact that the Supreme Court has on the Latino community.

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