Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison could have put the posturing aside and supported confirmation of a well-qualified candidate with 17 years on the federal bench plus experience as a prosecutor and private-practice lawyer.
Instead, Hutchison cited Sotomayor’s Senate Judiciary Committee testimony as evidence that she didn’t share the senator’s "conviction that the Constitution protects the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms."
That plays right into the unfair misperception that Sotomayor’s record and statements demonstrate hostility toward gun rights.
Hutchison's explanation that she could not approve anyone for the federal bench who left any doubt about their absolute support for the right to bear arms earned a smattering of applause during her speech to the Texas Association of Mexican-American Chambers of Commerce annual convention.
The tepid response was eclipsed when Hutchison noted that 30 percent of nominees she had submitted for federal judgeships were Hispanic.