Conservative Judicial Confirmation Network Won't Support Sotomayor Filibuster

May 27, 2009 9:41 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

While some conservatives are already calling on Senate Republicans to filbuster Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination for the Supreme Court, Wendy Long of the Judicial Confirmation Network called the idea "not appropriate."

When the news leaked that Judge Sonia Sotomayor would be President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, Wendy Long of the Judicial Confirmation Network was one of the first conservatives to come out swinging against the pick.  In a blog post at The Corner, she called Sotomayor "a liberal judicial activist of the first order" and accused her of reading "racial preferences and quotas into the Constitution." Nonetheless, while some conservatives are already calling on Senate Republicans to block a vote on Sotomayor's nomination, Long told Politico that she won't support a filibuster:

"We've always said a filibuster is not appropriate for judicial nominees," said Wendy Long, counsel to the network. "A filibuster is a legislative tool designed to extract compromises. A judicial nominee is a person. You can't take the arm or leg of a nominee.

"I think everybody should stand up, after a hearing, and vote yes or no. I know there is a respectful disagreement about that in some corners," she added.

The network, which has about $3 million, is also contemplating airing targeted television advertisements and is preparing a Sotomayor video to circulate on the Web.

The Judicial Confirmation Network has been running a web ad against Sotomayor for over a week, so Long's statement is a welcome development. But will Senate Republicans who previously opposed filibustering judicial nominees have a change of heart now that they're in the minority?

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**UPDATE: Appearing on CNN this morning, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said, "I would think that we would all have a good hearing, take our time and do it right. And then the senators cast their vote up or down based on whether or not they think this is the kind of judge that should be on the court. ... I don't sense a filibuster in the works." However, Sessions recently indicated that he was open to the possibility of a filibuster, saying, "I'm not gonna rule it out."

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