Martinez: Sotomayor is 'well qualified'
Sen. Mel Martinez is on the Senate floor right now voicing support for Sonia Sotomayor, one of seven Republicans who have already come out in her favor. "I intend to be very proud of her service on the U.S. Supreme Court," he said.
But Martinez began by scolding an increasingly partisan nominating process, citing the case of appellate nominee Miguel Estrada, who was filibustered for months in 2001 and then withdrew from consideration in 2003. Many thought Estrada was being groomed to become the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.
"It is my hope that starting today, we will not longer do what was done to Miguel Estrada," Martinez said. He called the Sotomayor pick a "momentous and historic opportunity" but said it was her legal record that made her qualified. "She has the most (bench) experience ... of any person nominated for the court in a century."
Addressing fellow Republicans who cite Sotomayor's speeches ("wise Latina," for example) as evidence of judicial activisim, Martinez said, "This assertion is not supported by the facts."