GOP Unsure How Big of a Brawl It Wants

Sotomayor battle could be jolt the party needs —or invite backlash
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2009 1:26 PM CDT
In the upcoming confirmation hearing of Judge Sonya Sotomayor, Dick Durbin, right, is the president's chief ally in the Senate; Chuck Schumer, left, represents Sotomayor's home state.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg, File)
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(Newser) – To fight, or not to fight—that is the question for the fractious GOP on the matter of Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination, and one that may not be easy to answer. On the one hand, taking a united stand against the Democratic nominee could energize the Republican base and send a message. But that message could also energize the wrong groups, writes Politico.

Opposing Sotomayor would likely anger Hispanic and female voters, two demographics the GOP sees slipping away. But if the party can't keep it together and remain unanimous, its own supporters could be turned off. The easy out Republicans are hoping for is a major gaffe from Sotomayor herself—but if the judge aces her hearings, dangers loom.
(Read more Sonia Sotomayor stories.)