Politics & Government

Texas Sen. Cornyn will vote against Sotomayor

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, announced Friday morning his opposition to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor because of her "liberal, activist perspective," but he acknowledged "that she will be confirmed despite my vote."

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which just finished hearings on the nomination, will vote on Sotomayor on Tuesday. Cornyn is a member of the panel.

Sotomayor has the support of 60 Democratic senators and several GOP lawmakers, including Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have pledged their vote as well.

As recently as Thursday, Cornyn told reporters he was still weighing his decision. But the former Texas Supreme Court judge had been skeptical of Sotomayor;s judicial perspective since her nomination was made.

However, during the hearings, Cornyn acknowledged that her judicial decisions from her 17 year judicial career were in the "mainstream."

In Friday’s speech, Cornyn said, "Many of her public statements reflected a surprisingly radical view of the law. Now, some have said that we can ignore her speeches — and just focus on her decisions as a judge. I disagree. Judges on our lower courts have less room to maneuver than those on the Supreme Court."

Cornyn warned that the court could weaken gun rights under the 2nd Amendment, property rights under the 5th Amendment and "invent new rights."

The Texas junior senator said Sotomayor's hearings were a "missed opportunity" for her to explain her comments and judicial philosophy.