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A Matter Of Opinion

Fri., July 24, 2009, 9:43 a.m.

Two Rs, two decisions

U.S. Sen. Orin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said today he'll vote against confirming Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court justice, regardless of what he called her "stellar resume." He disagrees on principle with her record and statements, he said.

In 33 years in the Senate, Hatch has never voted against a Supreme Court nominee.

His fellow Republican, Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, has already said he'll vote for Sotomayor, even though he has described several of the same philosophical differences with her that seem to trouble Hatch.

Nobody sees any jeopardy for Sotomayor's confirmation, but Hatch's stand might cause some wavering Republicans to oppose her, too. Not that that matters much, in the long run. Confirmed is confirmed, or, as athletes say after a sloppy victory, "A win is a win." With a lifetime appointment, her Supreme Court votes and rulings won't have any less influence because of the vote margin.

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