BREAKING: With 68 Votes, Sotomayor Approved as Associate Justice

Judge Sonia Sotomayor was approved as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The final Senate vote tally was 68 votes for her nomination, 31 votes against.

The one Senator not voting was Sen. Kennedy, who expressed support for her nomination but was not present today in DC for the vote due to his illness.

In what may be a perfect distillation of Senate behavior, rules constrictions and impotence, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid finished his support speech a couple of minutes early, around 2:58 pm ET. But the Senate couldn’t begin the vote on the Sotomayor nomination until exactly 3 pm ET because there was no one from the GOP leadership who would agree with Reid to a time change for the vote.

In the end, the NRA push wasn’t nearly enough to shove GOP opposition. Frankly, I think having to resort to them as a last-ditch effort made McConnell look awfully weak. And I have to wonder if there will be a leadership challenge in the GOP Senate caucus in the next election cycle if this weakness continues.

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