Republican Sen. Graham will vote for Sotomayor

The South Carolinian was among the toughest questioners of the nominee, but he's going to back her

By Alex Koppelman
Published July 22, 2009 9:20PM (UTC)
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When it came time for him to question Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was all over the map. On the one hand, he went after her, hard -- in fact, he gave the judge some of the sharpest questioning she faced. But on the other, he kept telling her how much he liked her and that her confirmation was all but assured.

It seemed at the time as if Graham might be going through that rather elaborate routine because, ultimately, he'd vote to confirm Sotomayor. And on Wednesday afternoon, he confirmed he'll be doing just that. Seen in that light, some of his questions do still seem a bit bizarre, but the whole thing makes more sense now; it might just be that he wanted to give himself some cover from his base when he did vote for her.

Now, Graham might provide some cover for his fellow Senate Republicans. Four others have already said they plan to vote to confirm President Obama's nominee, and with Graham having signed on, more might follow.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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