But it's going to be hard for Republicans to make an issue of her qualifications since she has a good resume, and more experience as a judge than anyone else now on the court had at the time of their confirmation hearings. She also has a reputation for being hard to get along with and having a fiery temperament which should make her interaction with people like Scalia, Roberts and Alito a fun time for all.
The real question is was she the most qualified and did Obama simply give in to pressure from the Latino community which had been howling for him to nominate a Hispanic.
Given Obama's history of giving in to whatever political pressure is exerted on him from any side ( i.e. his constant reversals on torture, torture memos, prosecutions, investigations, and photos, depending on who he spoke to last) it is almost a certainty that Sotomayer was chosen because she is a Hispanic woman.
Most people more familiar with her record and the record of other candidates say there were many candidates more qualified than Sotomayer. Diane Wood is one name mentioned frequently. On the other hand with the Latino population in the U.S. growing, there is little doubt that Obama was told by House and Senate Democrats that choosing a Hispanic would give the Democrats a very strong political position in the next election and a reason for them to vote Democrat. Something the Republicans will try to undermine with a different constituency, Angry White Males.
But no one can argue that Sotomayer is a bad or unqualified candidate. She is no Hariet Miers. Sotomayer has all the qualifications and experience needed. A graduate of Yale Law School she was first appointed in 1992 by, of all people George H.W. Bush and appointed as an appeals judge by Bill Clinton in 1997.
The Republicans will surely try and do what they can to make political points in an attempt to damage Democrats. Thats all they can do. But regardless of what Republicans say or do, the Democrats have the votes to confirm her so minus some skeleton in her closet that could derail her nomination she will become the first Hispanic to sit on the Supreme Court, despite the fact that the news media insists on calling it a "battle" for her confirmation.
There will be no battle, though Newt Gingrich has already called her a racist which in itself is pretty funny. If her confirmation lacks drama it seems that Gingrich is intent on providing the comedy. He believes she is an anti-white racist which sounds like a Gingrich and Republican attempt and trying to rise from the ashes politically by galvanizing the Angry White Male and making it a race issue.
The most interesting part of the hearings is going to be Republicans questioning Sotomayer on the 2nd ammendment. As anyone with any Constitutional knowledge knows the 2nd amendment has nothing to do with an indivduals right to own a gun. Any politician who says so is just pandering to the gun crowd as Obama has done many times and most politicians do publicly.
With Obama having made statements that support the idea that the 2nd amendment somehow relates to individual gun ownership and Sotomayer having made rulings which at the very least suggest she doubts this, that could provide the fireworks the media is praying for.