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Sotomayor and the politics of race

From NBC's Mark Murray
Given some of the anti-immigrant rhetoric during the immigration debate of 2006-2007 (which, as it turns out, didn't help the GOP with Hispanics), and given last year's presidential contest (when Obama bested McCain 2-1 among this group), we posed this question earlier today: Would Republicans dare vote against the first Hispanic Supreme Court nominee?

That question prompted one reader to criticize First Read for "threatening Republicans with the race card if they oppose Judge Sotomayor."

On the other hand, conservative Jonah Goldberg argued on National Review Online that while opposing Sotomayor isn't anti-Hispanic, "one advantage for Obama in picking the most left-leaning Hispanic possible/confirmable is that it actually allows the Democrats to -- once again -- cast Republicans as anti-Hispanic."

One of our goals at First Read is to generate political discussions. So we have two questions: First, do Republicans walk a political tightrope in opposing Sotomayor? And two, is this a legitimate question to raise?