The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-6 to recommend the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court Justice yesterday, prompting criticism from some conservative quarters.
On the Republican side only one of seven committee members, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, voted for the nomination.
Sotomayor has spent much time defending herself from allegations that she is an activist judge and that she will bring a racial and gender bias to the highest court.
Her critics have queried her on an opinion she issued in 2008 – which was subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court – that supported the city of New Haven’s decision to annul the results of a firefighter promotion exam because almost no minorities qualified.
According to media reports, only five Republicans are planning to support the nomination when the full Senate gets to vote on the nomination next week.
Among those who expressed outrage over the vote was gun rights expert and a former National Rifle Association editor John M. Snyder who currently serves as public affairs director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, treasurer of the Second Amendment Foundation and serves on the Advisory Board of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
Among other things, he noted Sotomayor responded "I don’t know" to the question as to whether an individual citizen of the United States has a right to self-defense.
"The right to self-preservation is basic to our nation, to our culture, indeed to civilization itself," says Snyder. "To not know if this right exists is an absolute disqualifier."