Sotomayor Confirmation an "Easy One" for White House

5168028 Sotomayor ends up with more votes than Samuel Alito and fewer votes than John Roberts and in the end no one is going to remember the margins. She'll now prepare to settle in to the Court, and to a new city, and I'm sure she's already had a peek at some of the briefs in cases she'll begin to help decide when the new term begins in a few weeks.

In some ways this was an easy one for the White House. The president's party controls the Senate by a filibuster-proof majority, the White House selected a nominee with great political symbolism for Hispanics, and Sotomayor had twice been vetted by the Congress over 17 years on the federal bench.

She's not likely to have a huge impact on the Court's ideological makeup because in some ways she's the same sort of moderate liberal that her predecessor, David Souter was. And you can even argue that she is likely to be MORE conservative than he was in certain kinds of cases, like business or law enforcement cases.

The real test for the White House and the Congress will come when the President of one party has to overcome a Senate controlled by members of the other party. That didn't happen here, it didn't happen with Justices Alito or Roberts, either, and if it DOES happen down the road we WILL the sort of political bloodbath we haven't seen since the Bork and Thomas confirmations.

Read more:

Senate Confirms Sotomayor to Supreme Court

Obama "Filled With Pride" Over Sotomayor

Vote Breakdown: Nine Republicans Back Sotomayor



(CBS)
Andrew Cohen is CBS News' Chief Legal Analyst and Legal Editor. CourtWatch is his new blog with analysis and commentary on breaking legal news and events. For columns on legal issues before the beginning of this blog, click here. You can also follow him on Twitter.

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