May 26th, 2009
12:26 PM ET
9 years ago

Sessions reacts to Sotomayor nomination

Sen. Jeff Sessions, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a statement Tuesday on Sotomayor's nomination:

"The president's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court today is an important step in a constitutional process that includes the advice and consent of the Senate. I congratulate Ms. Sotomayor on her nomination.

"The Senate Judiciary Committee's role is to act on behalf of the American people to carefully scrutinize Ms. Sotomayor's qualifications, experience, and record. We will engage in a fair and thorough examination of Ms. Sotomayor's previous judicial opinions, speeches, and academic writings to determine if she has demonstrated the characteristics that great judges share: integrity, impartiality, legal expertise, and a deep and unwavering respect for the rule of law.

"Of primary importance, we must determine if Ms. Sotomayor understands that the proper role of a judge is to act as a neutral umpire of the law, calling balls and strikes fairly without regard to one's own personal preferences or political views.

"President Obama has stated his desire to have a full court seated at the start of its next term, a reasonable goal toward which the Judiciary Committee should responsibly and diligently move. But we must remember that a Supreme Court justice sits for a lifetime appointment, and the Senate hearing is the only opportunity for the American people to engage in the nomination process. Adequate preparation will take time. I will insist that, consistent with recent confirmation processes, every senator be accorded the opportunity to prepare, ask questions, and receive full and complete answers.

"I look forward to the coming months as we move forward with this process. As I told the president this morning, I will do all I can to ensure that Ms. Sotomayor receives a fair hearing before the Committee. I firmly believe that the American people deserve a full and thoughtful debate about the proper role of a judge in the American legal system, an issue that will be central to our review of Ms. Sotomayor's record."

Filed under: Jeff Sessions • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Will-South Dakota

    Watch teh GOP Senators come out mud slinging against Hispanics now.

    May 26, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. Wolves 4 Palin Charlotte, NC

    "Fair" to Sessions as his crowd of Rushlican No's mean pund the hell out of her with every partisan means available.

    May 26, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Claudia in Houson

    Thank you Mr. Session, one who is more than qualified to speak on behalf of Ms. Sotomayor. Hopefully, those who don't have your qualifications will listen and learn.

    May 26, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    A few months? Here goes the republican malarky. She needs to be confirmed within a month. Where was all of this in depth transparency during the last 8 years?

    May 26, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. Frank, Las Vegas

    Let us remember that Sen. Sessions was before this Committee many years ago and was turned down as a federal judge. Let also not forget that Sen. Sessions was also once a member of the KKK. This is the man that the GOP put on the Judiciary Committee as their ranking member. Gee, I wonder how he will vote? Let me guess, NO and he'll tell all his other cronies to vote NO as well. This will certainly show the American people where and what the new GOP stands for. The vote on the full Senate floor will be very interesting and telling. America, keep your eyes and ears open on this one. It could be the last stand of the GOP.

    May 26, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Here is why I can care less about what Sen. Sessions thinks.

    Sessions also had once labeled the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) "un-American," "Communist-inspired," and had said that they "forced civil rights down the throats of people."

    If you ask me, he shouldn't be the chairman of any committee.

    May 26, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. Gary SC

    Typical CNN ticker,
    I heard lots of cheers and good coments during Her speech, but CNN can only put the neysayers on the ticker. Makes for better ratings.

    May 26, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. Greg From Alabama

    I love the baseball analogy. If only Jeff Sessions understood his own analogy. Everyone who knows baseball knows each umpire has his or her own strike zone. ie discretion. Calling balls and strikes isn't an exact science and neither is judcial interpretation. Repubs judges are just as activist but just towards a different set of outcomes. See Bush v. Gore.

    May 26, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. John

    Yes, Sessions clearly lays out the GOP strategy. "Scrutinize", "impartiality", "proper role of a judge", "coming *months*", "proper role", "Ms. Sotomayor's record".

    In other words, mud-sling for months and months.

    May 26, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. RR

    This has to be the most level headed and least partisan statement made by a politician on either side so far!

    May 26, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Bruce

    Funny how all the looney left goes after someone who said nothing but kind words about the nominee. It's also interesting that no matter who is nominated by the Republicans, they are all mean and evil. Man, you loonies on the left need to get your heads examined.

    May 26, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. maxx atl

    Good post about Sessions being in the KKK and he bcomes the GOP favorite!!!!

    May 26, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    I don't think in the entire history of the Supreme Court that there has really been a middle of the road ruling on anything. It all depends upon whom has been put in the Court and by what party the President was trying to oblige when appointing Justices. Case in point has also been the last three Attorney Generals appointed by GWB, all of whom followed the wishes of the Bush Administration....Muckasey was such a wimp that you couldn't get a straight answer from him on "waterboarding" as a torture issue.

    May 26, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Michael Sheridan, Grand Rapids, MI

    Who's taking book on how many Republicans will go back on their Bush-era stand that all judicial nominees deserve an "up-or-down" vote?

    Sounds like Sessions (and the other GOP bloviators weighing in today) has conveniently forgotten his previous rhetoric.

    IOKIYAR, I guess.

    May 26, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.


    Jeffrey will drag this out as long as he can.......reference the Senate seat from Minnesota.......and then he will vote the same way he did in 1998.


    May 26, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  16. Chuck in Warren Ohio

    This country has changed and it's time the GOP changes too. They are still living in the 80's and out of the mainstream. I think it's time to move this country forward and the word NO means nothing now!

    May 26, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. alvino

    Sessions should recuse himself from the hearings and the vote.

    May 26, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. marcus

    Certainly better than Bush's first selection – anyone remember Harriet Meyers?

    May 26, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. Chris from Illinois

    The GOP will not be able to put any real roadblocks in the way. They have to put up a token resistance, but there's really very little they can do. I do think the irony is thick though, considering the tendencies of Alito, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas.

    May 26, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Cleaning up after W

    @Bruce: "Funny how all the looney left goes after someone who said nothing but kind words about the nominee. It's also interesting that no matter who is nominated by the Republicans, they are all mean and evil. Man, you loonies on the left need to get your heads examined."

    Can't examine the heads of the far-right wingnuts, what with them being planted so far up their own rectums.

    May 26, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. Irma in North Carolina

    The GOP senators better now sling to much mud against the Hispanics now, if they do they can forget about getting their votes in the next election. They will loose a lot of the womens votes too. They should remember the last election they put Sarah out there to get the Hillary voters to vote for them. This backfired on them big time. I think the president made a good choice it will benefit either way in the next election.

    May 26, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. ray ray

    @ Will – South Dakota says,

    "Watch teh GOP Senators come out mud slinging against Hispanics now."


    Watch the Obama-bots characterize any disagreement with the INDIVIDUAL (Sotomayer) as some type of prejudice against an entire group of people.

    I guess that make's Hillary supporters all racists too since they voted for her in the DNC primary, eh will?

    May 26, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. Jo

    Great Pick Mr President!!!!!!!!

    May 26, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Jerry in Wonderland

    More GOP code for not this woman.

    May 26, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. No Incumbents 2010

    Is Sessions pre-judging Sotomayor even before the hearings begin?
    Is Sessions cricizing Bush '41 for nominating her while also criticizing the Republican Senators who voted FOR her nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals?
    Session's political grandstanding is a transparent yet lame attempt to play partisan politics with Obama's court nomination.

    May 26, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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