June 10th, 2009
11:00 AM ET
9 years ago

McConnell blasts Dems over Sotomayor hearing date

(CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor Wednesday to blast Democrats for setting a start date on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing.

"Senator Leahy's decision to rush Judge Sotomayor's confirmation hearing is indeed puzzling," McConnell said. "It risks resulting in a less informed hearing, and it breaks with years of tradition in which bipartisan agreements were reached and honored over the scheduling of hearings for Supreme Court nominees. And it damages the cordiality and goodwill the Senate relies on to do its business."

Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, announced Tuesday the hearings for Sotomayor would begin on July 13 - a date that was determined, according to the GOP, without consulting Sen. Jeff Sessions - the committee's ranking Republican.

"They want the shortest confirmation timeline in recent memory for someone with the longest record in recent memory," McConnell said. "This violates basic standards of fairness and it prevents senators from carrying out one of their most solemn duties, a thorough review of the president's nominee to a lifetime position on the highest court in the land."

Filed under: Mitch McConnell • Patrick Leahy
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Kelly

    Enough with the drama, Republicans. This is NOT the shortest time between nomination and hearings. I do believe it was 7 days.

    Stop with the scare tactics and stop holding the country hostage with your rhetoric of hate and party of no.

    June 10, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    How about this… Instead of making all these silly arguments from the floor of the Senate and doing all these interviews to get attention, and complaining about not having enough time to read through everything—how about you Republicans lock yourselves in a room with some interns and get some reading done…

    I mean if you’re serious about getting this thing done and don’t want to be seen as the party of delay and denial. I mean are you guys, really as slow in the head as you sound when you talk…?

    June 10, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. bern

    Same old same old from the same old people.

    Get the hearings on and this well qualified lady fitted for her new robe.

    June 10, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. Fla Joe

    I believe this is more time than Bush gave the Senate to review Harriet Mier's nomination. Oh, sorry, thats right there was nothing to review. Is the Senate paid to do this? She was nominated one month ago – hearings are in another month. McConnell can't do it in 60-days?

    June 10, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. Shawn _ Ga

    2010 the people will send a message. The same people who were against Obama, with the addition of those who realize they were fooled by Obama will have their voices heard.

    Those of us not looking for a handout, in addition to those of us who thought they would get one and are seeing that was never going to happen will have their voices heard...

    Those of us who knew that Obama would not come through with his promises just as he did to the people of IL, in addition to those who now have their eyes open as they see this administration saying that they "over stated" and were "overly optimistic" will have their voices heard.

    the list goes on and on.... weather people vote Dem. Ind. or Rep. One thing is for sure never again will a majority fall for the no substance big wishes and promises campaigning again.

    2012 is too far away to make any guesses of intelligence… this Administration may come around and actually try to help people… or 2012 will be very interesting.

    June 10, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Cromwell

    July 13 is more than a month from now.
    How long does it take Republicans to study Judge Sotomayers record?

    It only took three months to write the Constitution.

    June 10, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. Rich

    Whats new with the ram it through administration. They don't need to read legislation or feel the need for the senate to perform their duty of due diligence on Sotomayor. Where is all this transparency he promised from the do as I say not as I do President.

    June 10, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. justsane

    apparently he wants the august recess in order to try and manufacture some dirt about a judge who has already been confirmed twice by the senate. then he can drag his feet in september in order to keep her from being prepared when the court convenes in october.

    good plan. too bad it won't work.

    June 10, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. CMTallman

    Gosh, golly. I was totally unaware the Senate had any "cordiality and goodwill" which is why they're not getting much of anything done. Obviously I've been hiding under a rock.

    Get a grip, Senator McConnell. Life is gonna move on with or without you.

    June 10, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. Dave

    I get it Mitch. You don't like the Dems. Anything else to say?

    June 10, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. shucks

    cordiality and goodwill? I'm sure he had to look those up in the dictionary before speaking. What a joke. Let's not talk bipartisanship for the next 8 years, and let the republicans see how it feels.

    June 10, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. Bob in Pa

    You have to remember that they are using Used Car Saleman tactics. Quick, get the finance papers signed before they remember to look under the hood.

    June 10, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Ken in NC

    The average time before hearings are held is reported to be about 42 days from the date of nomination. Judge Sotomayor's hearing date falls about 47 or 48 days after nomination. That's a little longer than the average so what's the problem. Republicans are trying to drag this process out just like Democrats did when former President Bush made his nominations. These politicians, Democrats and Republicans need to stop acting like spoiled children. Being leaders of this nation is a major task and we need all on board working together.

    June 10, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Texas Teacher

    THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A BIPARTISANSHIP WITH THE CURRENT GOP! GET SERIOUS! The only risk is that Limbaugh (the current fearless leader of the GOP) and Company will have less time to defame the character of the candidate! And it is quite clear that Limbaugh has no compunction about labeling people as "enemies of the state"... and therefore subject to any kind of repercussion that he can fire up from HIS base! Note the killing of an abortion doctor! These radical right wing fanatics are capable of almost anything. Rush Limbaugh is OUT of CONTROL! And the GOP had better get a leash on him soon or they can forget the next elections! That's one woman's opinion!

    June 10, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. James

    When the Republicans have a clue of what they stand for, or what they would do differently, wake me up. Until that time, I am happy with the Dems and the Prez running the show.

    Looking forward to seeing Ms. Sotomayor in the SOTUS.

    June 10, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Peter E

    I would rather have had the nominee not based on race, ethnicity or gender. The last SCOTUS Justice picked based on race was Clarence Thomas, who has been the laziest, most partisan, most incompetent judge in SCOTUS history! Sotomayer is coming in already having proven she's an incompetent, unreasonable, unlawful, partisan hack. She's worse than Thomas!

    June 10, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. stevetall

    Fer cryin' out loud, Mitch. What are you waiting for? We're paying you (royally) to work for us, so just do it. Is this cutting into your vacation time or what?

    June 10, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. Peter

    The GOP just won't admit they're racists, but we all already know...

    June 10, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. Terry from Texas

    Conservatives, when out of power, stick to one and only one strategy: stall, delay, obstruct, prevent, defeat, distract, stop, confront, etc. Their goal is to make the party in power fail. Nothing more, nothing less. They want to drag out every issue for months or years, preventing any resolution of any kind. This clogs up Congress, polarizes the nation, and prevents the party in power from solving ANY of the nation's problems. Then, Conservatives will say, "See! They didn't get anything done. Vote for us!"

    They want only to get back in power, no matter how much suffering the middle and lower classes have to endure. When in power, they will use their other strategy (which we all remember from 2001-2008.)

    Remember when Democrats threatened to filibuster the nomination of one of the cave-men that Bush nominated to the Supreme Court? Republicans threated the "nuclear option" of eliminating the filibuster (the only Republican suggestion in the last 40 years that I support.).

    This is class warfare, my fellow middle-classmates. It is them against us.

    June 10, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. E Goodwin

    Is anything about the Republicans NOT obsolete? McConnell would do better just to sit down and not say anything.

    June 10, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. I laugh at Limbaugh daily

    My sides are hurting from laughing at the Limbaugh program.He has more lies and half truths than a bunch of old men at a 50th reunion.

    June 10, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. economist

    Here's a little fact check. Chief Justice Roberts was nominated on July 19 for Associate Justice. This nomination was withdrawn and a new nomination made for Chief Justice on September 6. His hearings began September 12. That is 55 days between the initial nomination and hearings, and 5 days between the renomination and hearings. Ms. Sotomayor was nominated on May 26. The hearings begin on July 13, that is a difference of 47 days. There is no significant difference; the Republicans just assume that no one will do the arithmetic.

    June 10, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. Lorna

    This all ya' got Mitch? You are kidding , right? 48 days isn't long enough for you yahoo Republicans to try and discredit this nominee. That's it in a nutshell.....and I do mean NUT. You all just don't get it...we, as a nation, aren't buying your BS anymore. You all lie when the truth sounds better. Pathetic.

    June 10, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. WI Cheesehead

    McConnell get your lazy behind off the mic and do your research. You are asking for more time because you are busy wasting it in your grandstanding.

    June 10, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. Jill-IN

    Short timeline? McConnell is incorrect in that statement. Chief Justice Robert's timeline was quite efficient.

    June 10, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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