Republicans Pledge Fairness

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele both signaled this morning that their party will listen openly to Sonia Sotomayor during her Senate confirmation process--though both have indicated that a thorough discussion lies ahead.

"Senate Republicans will treat Judge Sotomayor fairly. But we will thoroughly examine her record to ensure she understands that the role of a jurist in our democracy is to apply the law even-handedly, despite their own feelings or personal or political preferences," McConnell said this morning in a statement released by his office.

"Our Democratic colleagues have often remarked that the Senate is not a 'rubber stamp.'  Accordingly, we trust they will ensure there is adequate time to prepare for this nomination, and a full and fair opportunity to question the nominee and debate her qualifications."

Steele said the nomination will provide an opportunity to debate the role of the judicial branch.

"Republicans look forward to learning more about federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor's thoughts on the importance of the Supreme Court's fidelity to the Constitution and the rule of law. Supreme Court vacancies are rare, which makes Sonia Sotomayor's nomination a perfect opportunity for America to have a thoughtful discussion about the role of the Supreme Court in our daily lives," Steele said. 

"Republicans will reserve judgment on Sonia Sotomayor until there has been a thorough and thoughtful examination of her legal views," Steele said.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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