With the announcement of Sonia Sotomayor as the new candidate for the Supreme Court, I figured Andrea Mitchell would have on Orrin Hatch to get his opinion. What's interesting is that she jumped him when he started to back pedal on his support for her because he did vote for her confirmation back in 1998 under Bush #41.
Mitchell: Let me ask you this Senator, I mean George Herbert Walker Bush first nominated her to the bench and...
Hatch: Wait a minute Andrea, wait a minute, I was on the Judiciary committee back then. At that time a district court judge was really effectively by the Senate so in this case both the...
Mitchell: I understand that both Senator's from NY ,,,
Hatch: They had a one for one deal so I, she was chosen by Democrat and George Herbert Walker Bush really basically had no choice but to appoint her now...
Mitchell: You're saying by Senatorial courtesy she was Pat Moniyhan's choice for the court. Let me ask you about your own vote in 1998 sir, I mean you voted for her, did you not? Or do I have that wrong? You were one of the seven republicans.
Hatch: Well, let me just say this, I think the media tries to make something out of that because George Herbert Walker Bush was president. They shouldn't. She was basically picked by Senator Moniyhan, a Democrat. In 1998, for the circuit court of appeals, I did vote for her because I believe in giving the president due deference, especially for circuit court appeals nomination, but now we're talking about...
How quickly Republicans forget about their up or down vote jihad in 2005 that was led by Orrin hatch and many other republicans who wanted every one of Bush 43's picks to be confirmed.
Hatch: All we're asking is that everyone of these qualified nominees who reached the floor receive an up or down vote.
When the Senate confirmed Sonia Sotomayor to sit on the 2nd Circuit back in 1998, 29 Republicans voted AGAINST her -- including current Sens. Grassley, Hutchison, Kyl, McCain, McConnell, and Sessions (the latter of whom is the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee). But 23 Republicans also voted FOR her -- including current Sens. Collins, Gregg, Hatch, Lugar, Snowe, and Specter (the latter of whom is now a Democrat).
She's been confirmed before as Andrea Mitchell stated in the video clip.
On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moniyhan, Sotomayor was nominated by President George H.W. Bush on November 27, 1991, to a seat on the Southern District of New York vacated by John Walker as Walker assumed senior status. Sotomayor was confirmed by the US Senate on August 11, 1992 on unanimous consent of the Senate and received commission on August 12, 1992. When she joined the court, she was its youngest judge.
Sotomayor left the Southern District of New York on October 13, 1998 due to her appointment to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moniyhan, Sotomayor was nominated by President Bill Clinton on June 25, 1997 to a seat vacated by Daniel Mahoney. Sotomayor was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 2, 1998 on a super majority 67-29-2 vote, receiving her commission on October 7, 1998.
In February 2009, in an article Esquire magazine, she was described as a one-of-a-kind nominee who "would slay two of the court's lack-of-diversity birds with one swift stone."