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July 27th, 2009
12:22 PM ET

Why GOP senators misfired on judge

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/21/sotomayor.vote.delay/art.sotomayor.wed.gi.jpg" caption="Judge Sonia Sotomayor answers questions from senators during confirmation hearings last week."]

Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN

Judge Sonia Sotomayor cruised through her confirmation hearings without a scratch.

Too bad we can't say the same about the seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee who tried to dent her credibility and wound up demolishing their own.

The problem wasn't that Republican senators challenged Sotomayor. That's their job. The problem was that they did their job in such an obsessive and boorish way so as to make clear to the entire country that they had no idea how to deal with someone like Sotomayor. Like when Tom Coburn of Oklahoma tried to be funny by pulling out his Ricky Ricardo accent and informing Sotomayor that she had "some 'splaining to do." All this talk about whether the nominee was ready for the senators, and the senators clearly weren't ready for the likes of her.

Keep reading...


Filed under: Republicans • Sonia Sotomayor
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    The "funny" moment from the Senator imitating Ricky Ricardo from I love Lucy wasn't funny – condescending, lame, etc. but never funny. It was a cringe worthy moment of looking at the caliber of people we elect to represent us. Hopefully, at least Sotomeyer will be confirmed; it would be a fitting slap on the hand to the Senator that did the imitation (which was also bigoted) to have to listen to his own sound bite time after time again until he realizes just how stupid it was and is embarrassed.

    July 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  2. Mari

    Let's save some time,CNN, and say that ALL GOPers will vote against Sotomayor!

    And to the GOP....... you can speak in Spanish all you want on your campaigns, do Spanish ads....... YOU CAN FORGET THE LATINO VOTE FOR THIS ENTIRE CENTURY!

    @ RLWellman...... How offensive of you to make such a statement! The GOP complains of being called the Party of Hate...... your comment is one of the many reasons that ONLY 21% of Americans approve of the GOP!

    And what would you call BUSH & DICK who broke our Nation's Laws????

    July 27, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  3. Michael C. McHugh

    All of the C Street Boys are going to vote against her. That goes without saying.

    July 27, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  4. Koral Mae from Shelton, WA

    It's interesting that RLWellman believes LIBERALS are not law abiding. That statement lends one to believe that if liberals are NOT law abiding, then conservatives ARE?

    Funny...it was the Bush Administration who held no regard whatsoever for the rule of law by violating the 4th Amendement to the Consitution and foregoing our American values with regard to the Geneva Convention.

    But, in his defense, perhaps this commenter feels Bush & Cheney were liberals too. God knows they spent more money & created more government (ex. Dept. of Homeland Security) than most liberals.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  5. Joanne Pacicca

    The examination of reverse discrimination in the case of the Firemen was justified. That issue should, indeed, have been examined.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  6. RLWellman

    Let's put all Liberal Judges in, then we won't have to worry about ever following the Laws anymore. We can pick and choose which laws we want to follow and which ones we can break.

    July 27, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  7. Dean D. Ellis

    I took some time to copy some information from Wikipedia. Well, I don't know about the citations and souces but here it goes:

    In 1986, Sessions was nominated for a federal judgeship by President Ronald Reagan. The nomination was killed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which refused by a 9-9 vote to let the nomination come to the Senate floor for a vote. Sessions' opponents accused him of "gross insensitivity” on racial issues. Two witnesses testified that Sessions said that the Ku Klux Klan not so bad until he found out that some of them smoked marijuana. Sessions also allegedly referred to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as "un-American" and “Communist-inspired" because they "forced civil rights down the throats of people." At his confirmation hearings, Sessions said that the groups could be un-American when "they involve themselves in un-American positions" in foreign policy. Sessions denied the allegations, and said that his remarks were taken out of context or meant in jest.

    His opinion about the nominee might be al little on the racist side since her choice of evening wear does not include a white sheet and an axe handle. hey partner, that's a mighty fine sheet yer horse gots on this evenin'. He appears to be adamant that her opinions regarding second ammendment rights does not meet his high expectations of a Supreme Court nominee.

    The only good thing out of his mouth was: "I think she will be confirmed".

    July 27, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  8. Koral from Shelton, WA

    Lindsey Graham, Jeff Sessions, and Tom Coburn served to further shrink the GOP by relegating it to an even smaller regional party by proudly displaying their ignorance & condescension when addressing Sotomayor. Leader Limbaugh is sure to be proud.

    Rahm Emanuel is smiling as the "party of Lincoln keeps on a shrinkin'."

    July 27, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  9. lampe

    GOOD GOD! Can you all get a grip? You continue to act like it is only The Republicans that do this when a Dem President nominates someone. Where have you been? How old are you? Have you never paid attention to politics before? This is the same game both parties have played for years. How about reporting on things that matter, instead of trying to keep the B.S. going all the time? You can report on things that matter, like the unemployment rate, the economy, and HealthCare, or HealthReform, which ever one Obama decides to call it this week. Now that wou;ld be something Newsworthy.

    July 27, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  10. Janet Wolfbauer

    The good old boy system. Republican Senators are not concerned with what is good for the country. The Rep. wanted someone who they could control and this President is one they can't.
    Obama, a black man nominated a Latino woman, has put the Rep. Senators into a tissy fit. The Rep. Senators showed who was the smarter...Republican Senators or the one Latino Judge!

    July 27, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  11. Gabriel

    The problem with the Republicans is that only republicans are smart, only them can make an intelligent assessment of the issues. You should have seen how "stupid" that senator look with his Ricky Ricardo accent. Can we fired the stupidest republicans in Congress?

    July 27, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  12. Melissa

    The GOP were more concerned with keeping out an Obama nominee than they were with reality. And thats the whole problem. They can't be bothered to do the right thing because they are so self centered.

    July 27, 2009 at 12:39 pm |