June 5th, 2009
05:36 PM ET
5 years ago

McConnell: Filibuster option was set as a precedent by the Dems

 McConnell emphasized there will be plenty of time to read over Sotomayor's other writings and opinions before the Supreme Court reconvenes in October.
McConnell emphasized there will be plenty of time to read over Sotomayor's other writings and opinions before the Supreme Court reconvenes in October.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In a roundtable with radio reporters Friday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell wondered if Sonia Sotomayor's backpedaling on her now famous statement about a "wise Latina woman" possibly coming to better decisions than a white male was genuine.

"If it was a bad choice of words, it was a bad choice of words repeatedly [offered].... leading one to believe that it probably wasn't just anisolated statement, but a core belief," McConnell said. Past comments by Sotomayor regarding ethnicity are being circulated by her supporters to show that Republicans didn't raise objections when she was nominated as a federal judge and then for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

The GOP backs off some of its criticism of Sotomayor


On whether the judge's supporters would have to get 60 votes to move her nomination to the floor, McConnell did rule out a filibuster.

"The argument over whether judges should be filibustered was ended" when Democrats blocked President Bush's nomination of Miguel Estrada to an appeals court repeatedly, to the point where Estrada gave up and had his name withdrawn.

McConnell said he arged against that then. "I still think it's a bad idea; and I'm not in any way suggesting it's going to happen this time." But he called a filibuster option a "precendent that's been firmly established by the now-majority."

The GOP may not have the votes to sustain a filibuster - but could try to put up a roadblock. McConnell emphasized there will be plenty of time to read over Sotomayor's other writings and opinions before the Supreme Court reconvenes in October. But the vote on her nomination may not come before the August recess, as President Obama has said he would prefer.


Filed under: Mitch McConnell
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Chris - Denver

    This is really all they have: fingerpointing and childish bickering. Kind of sad, really. The GOP has become a pathetic mockery of itself.

    June 5, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Doug

    I imagine Senators have ADHD, too. You'd think someone would read her entire speech and see that this "bad choice of words" wasn't a bad choice at all. But pulling a few words out of context is much more fun. Give you something to hyperventilate about.

    June 5, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Had It

    I have very wealthy relatives in Ky that are already spreading the word to their friends to get rid of this hypocrit next time he's up for re-election. He's used up all his chances, and keeps digging holes. Go figure.

    June 5, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. kayla

    AND WHO KNOWS, SHE MAY BE RIGHT. JUST IMAGINE HOW MANY MINORITIES ARE IN JAIL BECAUSE OF MOSTLY WHITE MALE JUDGES.

    June 5, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. Real Talk

    I live in Kentucky and this guy only held his seat due to a lack of seriouos competition. He Will not get re-elected next time around.

    June 5, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Peter

    This man is a moron....Why did he get re-elected? The talk of "racism" in Kentucky and West Virginia I think isn't true, or is it? Obama lost the primaries, so what? I bet no matter what Clinton would've won, but by a big margin? Prove to the world this rumor is just a rumor, tell McConnel to shut his mouth.

    June 5, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. Typical Republican

    Yea, that's right. We're dirt bags, but so is someone else. That's why it's ok. Because we all can be dirt bags based on there ever being a dirt bag before us. Just like, it's ok to have another Hitler, since Hitler was a Hitler. Genocyde, and repeating it, have been made "A-OK to do" because Hitler did it already and we don't have to worry about being the first to commit mass genocide. See? Makes sense don't it!

    June 5, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. Expat in Canada

    Anyone with half a brain would concentrate more on Sotomayor's past rulings than a speech. After all, actions should speak louder than words, especially a few words taken out of context.

    As for Estrada, whom the GOP loves to bring up – he is a lawyer, and never was a judge. As a result, he has no past decisions to base his views on. McConnell and the GOP are reaching here in terms of assuming he is a precedent for how confirmation hearings should move forward.

    June 5, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. Keith

    Her speech doesn't matter to me in the least. Her rulings are what should be under scrutiny, not her poor choice of wording.

    June 5, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. tee

    The GOp is a sad group of unqualified leaders. Without the smoke and mirrors, they offer nothing..........should be suffering from smoke inhalation by now.

    June 5, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. Charlie

    Look at that face! Has this man ever been happy about anything?

    June 5, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. Dave C - NJ

    I could be wrong but didn't her statement have to do with a Supreme Court judge ruling to sterilize a retarded woman in 1927?

    It was a bad thing to say, and I don't really care if she gets blocked (which she won't) but does it ERALLY reflect a "core belief"? I doubt it.

    June 5, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. Ulyses

    These guys just don't know when to cut their losses and quit. One idiot republican gets up and spews his hatred and is beat down while another one does the same thing. It is all a ruse to get our attention off Karl Rowe so that he may conjure up his Evil Satanic Magic all over again. In the mean time the people watch and see the real republican party at its worse. They are so pathetic, it is painful to see. Keep it up jerks, soon there will be nothing left of the party.

    June 5, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  14. Mike in TX

    So just so I understand how you libs think....It was ok to filibuster a judge when obama was part of the filibuster, but it is not ok to filibuster a judge if it's obama's judge being filibustered.

    June 5, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. I am Newt's ex wife

    It's Friday and CNN will cut all these short, but here goes.

    McConnell has got to be the most clueless GOP guy around. Here is a guy who barely won re-election and he acts like the GOP is still in charge. What a classless idiot!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 5, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Gerry

    kayla – they are not in jail because of white male judges but because they are criminals.

    June 5, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. Hammer

    Name one campaign promise that that Obama has kept.
    Not words –with results!
    Your right, not one.

    June 5, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. I give up

    the thing is he is right.

    June 5, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Renfield

    Here we are folks, hobnobbing with the rabid dogs of the CNN forum!

    The nastiest and most ignorant posters, scribbling on the boards of the sinking, sinking, sinking CNN! Fox news more than TRIPLES the audience of CNN! Bunch of absolute losers posting hate-filled ignorant nonsense on the board of a loser network sinking ship! Priceless!

    June 5, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. Cathy in AZ

    Read the statement in full in order to look at this sentence in it's full context. Look at her rulings and then decide but the GOP will latch on to anything. There was and is a big difference in Judge Sotomayor and Miguel Estrada. That is why he was not confirmed!
    The GOP just doesn't get it!

    June 5, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. Ann

    Reversed racism is becoming a serious problem in America and Mr. Obama's circle is promoting this. Ms. Sotomayor is not a genius anyway, so what is the big deal if she is not accepted? Why a Latina woman? what is wrong with white women?

    June 5, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  22. mike

    Read up on Janice Rogers Brown, folks.

    June 5, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  23. Hal

    The fact of the matter is that what Sotomayor said was NOT racist!

    If a person has a broader variety of experiences within their lifetime that more genuinely reflect those events experienced by a greater crossection of the public, then he or she should be able to reach better decisions, particularly regarding the practical implications of the law.

    A DIVERSITY OF EXPERIENCES MAKES FOR BETTER JUDGEMENT!!!

    Which is why we don't let five-year-olds be judges!!

    Once again the GOP is the party advocating ignorance!!

    June 5, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  24. Tom in CA

    Yes, the Grand Obstructionism Party rides again – into the mud flats. GMaB!

    June 5, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  25. David

    This is what the GOP has always been about. It's only exposed more clearly because we have President Obama and his Administration to set a new standard. The GOP is best left as a small racial/political/religious/social extremist group with no authority, so that we can keep an eye on them.

    June 5, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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