May 27th, 2009
11:06 AM ET
5 years ago

GOP walks fine line on opposing Sotomayor

Judge Sonia Sotomayor would be the first Hispanic U.S. Supreme Court justice if confirmed.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor would be the first Hispanic U.S. Supreme Court justice if confirmed.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican Party risks further alienation from Hispanics by challenging the nomination of Sonia Sotomayer, who would become the first Hispanic, and third woman, on the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, President Obama nominated 54-year-old Sotomayor - who is of Puerto Rican descent - to replace the retiring Justice David Souter.

Sotomayer is a judge on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, named to that post by President Bill Clinton when she was a U.S. District Court judge, nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

The barbed comments about Sotomayer began almost as soon as the announcement was made at the White House on Tuesday.

Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh called Sotomayor a "reverse racist" on his show. Limbaugh, who is known for stirring up controversy, said he hopes Obama's nominee fails.

"Do I want her to fail? Yeah. Do I want her to fail to get on the court? Yes. She'd be a disaster on the court," he said. "Do I still want to Obama to fail as president? Yeah. ... He's going to fail anyway, but the sooner the better here so that as little damage can be done to the country."

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Filed under: Rush Limbaugh • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
May 27th, 2009
10:03 AM ET
5 years ago

Poll: Dodd has stopped the bleeding

Senator Chris Dodd faces a primary contest against Connecticut businessman Merrick Alpert.
Senator Chris Dodd faces a primary contest against Connecticut businessman Merrick Alpert.

(CNN) – A new poll suggests that the worst may be over for Sen. Chris Dodd as the Democrat from Connecticut gears up for re-election next year.

A Quinnipiac University survey of Connecticut voters indicates that Dodd trails former Republican Rep. Rob Simmons, a possible challenger in the 2010 general election, by six points. That's down from a 16 point deficit in a Quinnipiac poll released in early April.

The survey also suggests that Dodd's approval rating has jumped five points, to 38 percent, from his all time low of 33 percent in the April poll. Fifty-three percent of Connecticut voters disapprove of the job Dodd's doing as a senator, down five points from early April.

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Filed under: Chris Dodd • Connecticut
May 27th, 2009
09:44 AM ET
2 years ago

Huckabee to endorse Rubio for Florida Senate seat

Huckabee plans to back Rubio in Florida.
Huckabee plans to back Rubio in Florida.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has rolled out a succession of endorsements from national Republicans since announcing his entrance into the 2010 Senate race.

Now his Republican primary rival, former Florida House speaker Marco Rubio, has a national endorsement of his own from a conservative heavyweight: Mike Huckabee.

The former Arkansas governor will formally endorse Rubio in about two weeks, according to a Florida Republican familiar with the plans. The details of where the endorsement will take place have not been decided.

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Filed under: Marco Rubio • Mike Huckabee
May 27th, 2009
09:32 AM ET
5 years ago

Limbaugh slams Sotomayor: 'Reverse racist'

 Limbaugh is going after Sonia Sotomayor.
Limbaugh is going after Sonia Sotomayor.

(CNN) - While Republicans on Capitol Hill appear to be adopting a wait-and-see approach with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh is taking direct aim at President Obama's choice for the high court.

Calling Sotomayor a "racist" and a "hack" on his radio show Tuesday, Limbaugh took particular issue with a 2001 speech at Berkeley during which she stated a "wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

"Here you have a racist – you might want to soften that, and you might want to say a reverse racist," Limbaugh said of that comment.

"And the [liberals] of course say that minorities cannot be racists because they don't have the power to implement their racism," he continued. "Well, those days are gone because reverse racists certainly do have the power to implement their power. Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he's appointed one."

"She's not the brain that they're portraying her to be. She's not a constitutional jurist," Limbaugh also said, referencing a New Republic article last month in which Jeffrey Rosen, the magazines legal affairs editor, wrote that "her opinions, although competent, are viewed by former prosecutors as not especially clean or tight, and sometimes miss the forest for the trees."

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Filed under: Rush Limbaugh
May 27th, 2009
09:30 AM ET
5 years ago

Sotomayor would be part of court's Catholic shift

If confirmed, Sonia Sotomayor would be the sixth Catholic justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
If confirmed, Sonia Sotomayor would be the sixth Catholic justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As Supreme Court hopeful Sonia Sotomayor breaks ground for Hispanics, she is poised to add an exclamation point to another historic demographic shift: the move to a Catholic court.

Sotomayor was raised Catholic and if she is confirmed, six out of nine, or two-thirds of the justices on the court will be from the faith. Catholics make up about one-quarter of the U.S. population.

"It's most unusual," said Barbara Perry, a government professor at Sweetbriar College who was already writing a book about Catholics on the Supreme Court when Sotomayor was named as the next nominee.

"Presidents used to reserve a Catholic seat and a Jewish seat on the Supreme Court," Perry told CNN Radio. "Now we've moved from a Catholic seat on the court to a Catholic court."

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Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
May 27th, 2009
08:45 AM ET
5 years ago

Pro-Sotomayor group buys TV time

A new ad backing Sotomayor was ready less than a day after her nomination was announced.
A new ad backing Sotomayor was ready less than a day after her nomination was announced.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A new television ad promoting Judge Sonia Sotomayor will begin airing Wednesday, less than 24 hours after President Obama introduced her as his pick for the Supreme Court.

The 30-second ad is being paid for by the Coalition for Constitutional Values, an umbrella group that includes liberal-leaning organizations such as the Alliance for Justice, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and People for the American Way.

"This spot introduces the American people to Judge Sonia Sotomayor," Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights - the nation’s oldest coalition of civil rights organizations, said in a statement to CNN. "Every aspect of American life is affected by our justice system. It's important that they understand her fair-minded approach to the law which is grounded both in her eminent legal qualifications and her life experiences."

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Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
May 27th, 2009
05:24 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: May 27, 2009

ALT TEXT

The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL

For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com.

CNN: Who is Sonia Sotomayor?
Judge Sonia Sotomayor knew she wanted to go into law from an early age.

CNN: Limbaugh slams Sotomayor: 'Reverse racist'
While Republicans on Capitol Hill appear to be adopting a wait-and-see approach with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh is taking direct aim at President Obama's choice for the high court.

CNN: Steele: GOP must be careful on Sotomayor
The head of the Republican Party wants his forces to watch their steps when it comes to Supreme Court hopeful Sonia Sotomayor.

CNN: Judge OKs request for secret Burris tapes
A federal judge on Tuesday approved sending to the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee recordings of secretly taped conversations between Sen. Roland Burris and former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother, which took place before the Burris appointment.

CNN: Partisan confirmation hearings expected for Sotomayor
When Sonia Sotomayor won Senate confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1998, all 29 "no" votes were cast by Republicans.

CNN: Obama urges Myanmar to release Aung Sang Suu Kyi
President Obama called Tuesday for the immediate and unconditional release of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is on trial for subversion.

CNN: Police officers saved by stimulus may still lose jobs
It was a success story the White House was eager to highlight: Earlier this year, President Obama attended the graduation of 25 police recruits in Columbus, Ohio, touting it as a victory for the federal stimulus package.

CNN: Liz Cheney doesn't rule out future run for office
Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and a former State Department official, said Tuesday that she isn't planning to run for public office anytime soon, but didn't rule out the possibility for the future.

CNN: Huckabee: Steele immune from 'the racism charge'
Mike Huckabee said over the weekend that Michael Steele is doing "a good job" as chairman of the Republican National Committee — in part because of the color of his skin.

NYT: Antitrust Laws a Hurdle to Health Care Overhaul
President Obama’s campaign to cut health costs by $2 trillion over the next decade, announced with fanfare two weeks ago, may have hit another snag: the nation’s antitrust laws.

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Filed under: Political Hot Topics
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