Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) was on ABC’s This Week today discussing the nomination Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Cornyn said that it is possible that Republicans could filibuster the nomination, but that it is too premature to make that determination now.
When asked about a filibuster by host George Stephanopoulos, Cornyn said, “I think it’s really premature to say that or to speculate. I’m not willing to judge one way or the other, George, because frankly we need to not pre-confirm, and to give Judge Sotomayor the fair hearing that Miguel Estrada and indeed Clarence Thomas were denied by our friends on the other side of the aisle.”
I think Cornyn is giving lip service to filibuster just in case something comes out in Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing. There is also a political angle here. If Cornyn would come out and say that a filibuster is off the table, the Rush Limbaugh wing of the GOP would have gone ballistic. In the same interview, Democrat Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that Sotomayor is filibuster proof.
In this day and age of American politics, I don’t believe that any nominee is filibuster proof, but as long as Sotomayor satisfies Republican questions about her judicial philosophy, I don’t see her having any problems. What is likely to happen is that the nominee gives a good accounting of herself during the confirmation hearings, a handful of Republicans end up supporting her, and talk radio throws a major hissy fit.