- The Washington Times - Friday, July 10, 2009

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Republican cautioned Friday that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation is not a “foregone conclusion” amid what he said was growing concern from moderate to conservative Senate Democrats.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican who is his party’s point man in the confirmation of President Obama’s first Supreme Court pick, said that the Democrats’ large majority in the Senate does not guarantee every member of their caucus will vote for the nominee.

Mr. Sessions said he had heard some Democrats question the judge’s stand on gun rights.

“A couple of them have suggested they are concerned about the Second Amendment,” Mr. Sessions told The Washington Times Friday afternoon. “They’re not a guaranteed vote for the nominee.”

A number of gun-rights groups have opposed Judge Sotomayor’s nomination, though the National Rifle Association — whose support has been critical for red- and purple-state Democrats — has not come out against the nominee.

A poll released Friday showed flagging public support for Judge Sotomayor, now serving on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. In the CNN poll, 60 percent of respondents said they expect “a major fight” during Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings next week.

Judge Sotomayor would be the first Hispanic female to serve on the Supreme Court. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings begin Monday.

• Tom LoBianco can be reached at tlobianco@washingtontimes.com.

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