Sonia Sotomayor took to two different oaths today.
First, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., administered the Constitutional Oath to Judge Sonia Sotomayor in a private ceremony. Then Justice Sotomayor took Judicial Oath before a larger gathering of 60 friends and family members, which was recorded by television cameras for the first time:
Sotomayor is the 111th Justice of, the third female, and first Hispanic to sit on the nation’s highest court. At 55, Justice Sotomayor is the second youngest current Justice; Chief Justice John G. Roberts is 54.
The Senate voted 68-31 to confirm Judge Sotomayor as a Justice of the Supreme Court. There were more votes cast against Sotomayor than any other current Supreme Court Justice except Justices Alito and Thomas:
- Chief Justice John G. Roberts, September 29, 2005, 78 – 22
- Justice Samuel A. Alito, January 31, 2006, 58 – 42
- Justice Stephen G. Breyer, July 29, 1994, 87-9
- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, August 03, 1993, 96-3
- Justice Clarence Thomas, October 15, 1991, 52-48
- Retired Justice David H. Souter, October 02, 1990, 90-9
- Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, February 03, 1988, 97-0
- Justice Antonin Scalia, September 17, 1986, 98-0
- Justice John Paul Stevens, December 17, 1975, 98-0
There was no question about the fact that Justice Sotomayor is qualified. The concern was that she was less than forthcoming about things, such as her Wise Latina remarks, in the confirmation hearings. NPR's Ari Shapiro said that he and other reporters studied Sotomayor's background and career for months and the Sotomayor at the Senate confirmation hearings bore "little resemblance" to the woman they studied.
It truly unfortunate that the confirmation process has become such a farce that a Supreme Court nominee is allowed to obfuscate to such a degree and still be confirmed.