As to whether Sotomayor is qualified, there is no question that she meets whatever that minimal and ill-defined threshold happens to be. If she is not qualified, and does not truly understand constitutional law, as some contend, then she will not be a force on the Court, much like the person she is replacing. There may be a time to lay down the gauntlet over a nominee’s qualifications, but this is not the time.
I put no stock in fear of a Hispanic backlash from a “no” vote. Judge her on the merits, and let the chips fall where they may. I also put no stock in wishful thinking that anything Republicans do will change the Democratic attack machine when it comes to Republican nominees.
In the end, I went on gut as well. Sotomayor came across as likable, genuine (other than as to the “wise Latina” statement) and a decent person. Maybe that is not enough, or even a requirement, but it sets her apart from so many of the Democratic Senators who are shepherding her through the process.