May 28th, 2009
07:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Kansas senator to oppose Sotomayor

 Roberts said Thursday he will vote against Sotomayor.
Roberts said Thursday he will vote against Sotomayor.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, said Thursday he does not plan to vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, becoming the first Republican to explicitly state his opposition to President Obama's pick for the high court.

"With all due respect to the nominee and nothing personal, I do not plan to vote for her," Roberts told talk radio host Christ Stigall on Kansas station KCMO.

Roberts also noted he was one of the 28 Senate Republicans in 1998 who voted against confirming Sotomayor to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Sotomayor was ultimately confirmed to that court by a 68-28 vote.

"I did not feel she was appropriate on the appeals court," Roberts said of his 1998 vote. "Since that time, she has made statements on the role of the appeals court I think is improper and incorrect."

"I think that we should be judging people not on race and gender, or background or ethnicity or a very compelling story," Roberts continued. "There are a lot of people who have that."


Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. kishen c.rao

    I BET THIS DUDE IS ANOTEHR REPUBLICAN...OH, LORD, WHAT CAN I SAY....GOD BLESS MY NATION, THE USA...THESE GUYS NEED TO CONCENTRATE ON BURNING PROBLEMS LIKE, ECONOMY, BRINGING BACK OUR INDUSTRIAL SECTOR...FIXING HEALTH CARE, TIGHTENING IMMIGRATION...ENVIRONMENT...LOT OF PROBLEMS NATION IS PESTERED WITH...JUST WAKE UP....

    May 28, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  2. Eleanor, Port Orchard, WA

    Racist. Anti-feminist. Repugnant. Any questions?

    May 28, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  3. Argonaut

    Oh, so Scalia's oddly anti-semitic remarks are ok? Roberts and his buddies are just wanting to reject Sotomayor to give Obama a black eye. This has zip to do with her qualifications. How can anyone today think that this is a real debate? Politics are tiresome and so lacking in integrity that I have a hard time even caring sometimes now. Mr. Roberts is well known as a very, very right wing partisan politician. He represents a narrow constituency that does not reflect the broad attitudinal nature of our country. Romney's 'troubling' comment, Robert's 'nothing personal', etc etc...see my own comment above about giving black eyes.

    May 28, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  4. EX-repub

    THERE'S BEEN ALOT OF TALK ABOUT SONIA SOTOMAYOR'S RACIAL BACKGROUND.
    I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT IN 2009 PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY ARE STILL OBSESSED WITH A PERSON'S RACE INSTEAD OF THEIR QUALIFICATION'S!
    EVER SINCE PRESIDENT OBAMA NOMINATED HER FOR THE SUPREME COURT THE MEDIA HAS BEEN IN A FRENZY ABOUT HER BEING HISPANIC.
    CAN'T WE JUDGE PEOPLE ON THEIR ACTION'S AND NOT BY THEIR RACE?

    May 28, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  5. phoenix86

    Courage and conviction is still alive in the Republican party. Bravo Sir.

    Expect the normal derision and hatred from Obamabots in 3...2...1...

    May 28, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  6. Himalay

    glad he took his time to review her recent record, nothing idealogical at all

    May 28, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  7. John B. From New Hampshire

    hypocrite!! what's he judging her on?! that's right... race and gender. typical repub... way to win over those minority voters! lmao. see u in 2010, or not!

    May 28, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  8. Paul

    And this is news? Does it suprise anyone. Tell me when a republican thinks the Obama selection is a good one – now that would be news worthy!

    May 28, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  9. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Let the "NO" begin

    May 28, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  10. Victory

    For the love of god, Who cares WHAT HE THINKS!!!!!

    May 28, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  11. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Who is suprised at this crap!!

    May 28, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  12. Pearlie

    Sen. Roberts and others like him (old White Males) have had their time to accomplish what they have wanted to do. Now it is time for new fresh ideas of diversity in this country. I was brought to tears when I heard that President Obama had choosen a famale. A famele who has worked very hard to get where she is today and I am very proud of her. I know that she will bring new ideas and will be a very good Supreme Court Justice. My prayers are with you.

    May 28, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  13. STLouisGal

    What a surprise! A REPUBLICAN Senator from KANSAS is against Obama's pick. It doesn't matter who he nominated...Roberts and Brownback wouldn't vote to confirm. Makes me glad I don't live in Kansas anymore. I don't have to be embarrassed by those two.

    May 28, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  14. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Tell that to Michael Steel idiot!!

    May 28, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  15. Amanda

    Who cares ? Judge Sotomayor is immensely qualified and the Republicans negative votes are a badge of honor to her.

    May 28, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  16. Murf

    As a Kansan, I am extremely embarrassed by the pre-emptive declaration by KS Senator Pat Roberts that he will not vote for Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor. While clearly he has some knowledge of Ms. Sotomayor's judicial record at least up through 1998 (yes, 11 years ago) the fact that he has already gone on record as a "no" vote means that Mr. Roberts is of the ilk that prejudges nominees before "their day in court". We can all thank the Lord that Mr. Roberts doesn't sit on the bench as every defendant in his court would be guilty before proven innocent. Nice one Pat.

    Murf

    May 28, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  17. Steph

    Well, who needs to pretend to have an open mind?!?! He is just saying "NO". Typical member of the party of gNOp...sad (but expected).

    May 28, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  18. Lonestar Wolf

    He's a Repukelican. Enough said.

    May 28, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  19. RONNIE

    ohhhhhhhhhhhh Big surprise! What right wing whacko will vote for her? The GOP isn't relevant any more.

    May 28, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  20. Jim

    Surprise, surprise, surprise. Pat is going to vote against Sotomayor. The real news would have been if he supported her. This guy doesn't know a good Supreme Court Justice from a certain part of his anatomy. He supported Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, and others who are incredibly right wing. But what else would you expect?

    May 28, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  21. Michele

    As far as I know, she did a fine job on the Court of Appeals, but go ahead, vote against her, not for her verdicts, but for statements taken out of context by Sean Hannity and Rush. That makes as much sense as anything else Republican lately.

    May 28, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  22. Scott

    Amen to that. I fear that people who come with the stigma of "compelling life story" probably also have some resentment that they had to work so hard to get where they are and are looking for a demographic to take their angst out on. I fear that Ms. Sotomayor's group of choice is the nation's gun owners. two polarized groups and a swing judge does not a balanced bench make. I wouldn't vote for her either.

    May 28, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  23. Joyce Becker

    Sotomayor will be confirmed with or without your vote Senator Roberts, your opinion doesn't count too much. .

    May 28, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  24. Tatianna

    Senator Roberts and others should stand by their convictiòns in opposing her appointment to the SC. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain for calling you a racist or bigot. I have faith that the reps will be respectfull during confirmation hearing. We do remember dems being shamefull, disrespectfull, and hostile during Alito and Roberts confirmation hearings. May we conduct ourselves as grown adults, while dems whine and suck their thumbs in a fetal position.

    May 28, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  25. Independent

    I don't think she would be a disaster, but all the reasons given for her are superficial. Who cares what race she is or if she came from a poor background. Those things have nothing to do with honoring the constitution. Obama needs to press for her on her legal qualifications alone. It looks like affirmative action when he take the politically correct route. As if she otherwise wouldn't be qualified.

    May 28, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
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