POLITICS
08/31/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Baucus: "No Idea" How I'll Vote On Sotomayor (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Sen. Baucus, after saying he didn't know how he would vote, has now committed to supporting Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

"I have long said that to be a Supreme Court Justice a person must meet three main criteria: personal integrity, professional competence, and a view of important issues that is within the mainstream of contemporary judicial thought," Baucus said in a statement. "After personally meeting Judge Sotomayor, thoroughly analyzing her judicial record, and reviewing her nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Sotomayor unquestionably meets each of these criteria. Thus, I am proud to support her nomination and will vote to confirm her as a Justice to the United States Supreme Court."

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Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), already under scrutiny by progressive Democrats, has created new cause for apprehension by saying he's not sure he will vote for the president's Supreme Court nominee.

Asked by The Hill whether he would support Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Baucus twice said he was still undecided.

"I have no idea," Baucus said. "I haven't paid any attention and I haven't announced ... I've been so busy with healthcare. It's under consideration. I'll certainly know when I vote, but right now I can't tell you."

He isn't the only wavering Democrat. Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) have been equally coy. Think Progress points out that both made their wobbly statements after the National Rifle Association decided to include the Sotomayor vote in their scorecards on lawmakers' gun rights' records.

Baucus and Begich both got an A rating from the NRA in 2008. Nelson got an A+.

The NRA has suggested Sotomayor has a radical record on gun rights; in fact, her rulings have always followed Supreme Court precedent and her decision on a Second Amendment case was unanimously upheld by three Republican appointees.

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