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Sotomayor was finally confirmed today, which not only makes this a proud day for the Latino community, but a historic day for all Americans.
Unfortunately, what should have been a proud moment of bipartisanship was tarnished by the divisive votes of so many Republican senators who opposed Sotomayor. In fact, some right-wing organizations, such as the Americans for Legal Immigration Reform (ALIPAC), put the pressure on asking their supporters to call out “Republican Sell-outs” and oppose their Sotomayor votes. According to the Orlando Sentinel:
In the e-mail blast, the group told its followers to make “thousands of angry, yet proper and legal calls” to stop those senators –including Florida’s Mel Martinez– from voting for her, “because this is EXACTLY HOW THEY PLAN TO PASS AMNESTY NEXT!”
That sounds remarkably as if they’re saying a capable judge shouldn’t be confirmed because she’s Hispanic.
The thirty-one Republican senators who voted against Sotomayor–after acknowledging her distinguished record–show that the GOP has yet to change its stripes and set aside partisanship in favor of progress. And considering the Republican Party’s historic losses among Latino voters in the 2008 elections, you would think that GOP leaders would realize that they need to change course or risk further marginalization.
The GOP will have another chance to redeem itself when Congress considers comprehensive immigration reform later this year; if the Party continues its ‘politics as usual’ strategy, watch for further losses among Latino voters in 2010 and beyond.