Klobuchar predicts some Republican support for Sotomayor

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said today that she could “nearly guarantee” that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor will pick up Republican support in her confirmation.

Klobuchar, who has been participating in the confirmation hearings this week, declined to name names, but indicated that Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham’s lengthy, and at times repetitive, questioning of Sotomayor this morning might have an end purpose.

He could be “letting her explain her words again because it might lead to his support,” Klobuchar said.

Indeed, Graham ended his comments by saying that Sotomayor had said some things during the hearing that “bug the hell out of me,” but added that he was also encouraged by many of her answers.

Sotomayor’s ultimate confirmation has never really been in doubt. But, Klobuchar said, there were at least two unknowns going into this week’s hearing.

“No one knew how she would do,” said Klobuchar. “And she passed with flying colors.”

And the second unknown?

“No one knew how the Republican senators would handle this,” Klobuchar added. “And they have handled it with dignity… [and] a lot of civility.”

In her own line of questioning, which focused on Sotomayor’s work as a criminal prosecutor, Klobuchar said that her intent was to show how Sotomayor had distinguished herself in that field.

“Many people are prosecutors,” said Klobuchar. “But she really distinguished herself as being incredibly hardworking, determined and respected.”

Klobuchar also noted that her junior colleague, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., had done a pretty good job himself in the first Senate hearing.

“I think he did what he wanted to do,” Klobuchar said. “He was the people’s proxy and he didn’t pretend to be a lawyer. I thought he did very well.”

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