June 19th, 2009
06:40 PM ET
5 years ago

Republican senator won't meet with Sotomayor

Inhofe has said he will vote against Sotomayor.
Inhofe has said he will vote against Sotomayor.

(CNN) - As Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor continues to make the rounds on Capitol Hill, at least one senator is refusing to meet with her.

Sen. James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who previously voted against Sotomayor's current post as a federal appeals court judge, told the Tulsa World Thursday it is a "foregone conclusion" that he would not support Obama's pick for the high court.

"If you voted against anyone on the circuit [court], I have never been able to see how you turn around when the bar is actually higher and support it at a higher level," Inhofe also said.

So when it came time for Sotomayor to meet with Inhofe to discuss her judicial philosophy, the Oklahoman declined.

"The reason is he already knows how he is going to vote and it's probably best not to take up her time, she's very busy," Inhofe communications director Jared Young told CNN.

Meanwhile, fellow Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, also a Republican, met with Sotomayor Thursday, having what he described as a "philosophical discussion" with the high court nominee.

"It was more a philosophical discussion [about] life, problems in our country, difficulties we face," Coburn said.

Inhofe isn't the first Republican to explicitly proclaim his opposition to Sotomayor. Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts - who also voted against Sotomayor's nomination to the appeals court 11 years ago - said late last month he would again oppose her. A spokeswoman for Roberts did not know if the Kansas Republican has plans to meet with the nominee.

Sotomayor has met with more than 70 senators since Obama tapped her for the Supreme Court late last month.


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soundoff (400 Responses)
  1. No Ones Home Boy

    "Oklahoma should be embarrassed!"
    I am...but I doubt this red state gives a rip...

    June 19, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Linda -WI

    I'm sure she doesn't want to meet with the homely reslug racist either.

    June 19, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. Penelope

    I say let's start voting these closed minded folks out of office. Enough already. And for those who don't like President Obama, in three years, you'll get to exercise your right as well. I think a lot of y'all are just some sore losers who think that your right to entitlement is being infringed upong because a black man with some sense is in office. Get over yourselves.

    June 19, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. Jill-IN

    How shameful! I wouldn't support Mr. James Inhofe for anything!

    June 19, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @DebM, because the real numbers are 6 of 8 vacated or overturned, not 3 out of 5.

    @Nicole, well said. I'm sick of hearing that just because you are a white male you are automatically intolerant and a bigot. It's those who can't accept that not everyone agrees with Obama's policies who are intolerant.

    June 19, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Conti Gill

    A person who has experienced life beyond their neighborhood or comfort zone will bring more to anyone's table. If you do not step outside of your comfort zone, you cease to learn about other things.
    A person who has never dared to do anything different versus someone who has experienced American or world situations can do a better job or at least a present a diverse view.
    She had to qualify on some level for the nomination by the most powerful man in the country. We should take heed to the qualificaitons and not be so quick to judge.
    Diversity is needed on the National Supreme Court.
    Change is coming and there's nothing we can do about that. The Party of No needs to just buckle up and get ready for the ride!

    June 19, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. Jen from CA

    You liberals are a bunch of dips.
    The guy has already met here, already voted against her. Why does he need to waste her time? You chastise the guy for having the manners to admit the truth. Why is his decision politically motivated? Because he doesn't agree with other democrats? What if people thought of you as a bad, horrible person for not wanting to waste someone's time or disagree with someone?

    That is the truth you liberals will eventually have to face – people don't believe the way you do or agree with you, and those a intellegent people that have many life experiences also.

    Get a grip you bunch of winey losers.

    June 19, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. Nancy in Illinois

    No Democratic senators refused to meet with Roberts, Alito, etc. Besides bad manners, isn't this refusing to do his job? Throw him out, Oklahomans, for not doing what he was elected to do. Republicans are a bunch of babies who cannot even pretend to be adults. Senator Inhofe, you're a baby! Take your toys and go home! Get him a blankey and a binky. Loser.

    June 19, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. OUShark

    This is one Okie that is totally disgusted with Inhofe. But, then again, I have been since the day he took office. Walter Cronkite once said Inhofe is one of the dumbest people he had ever met. And I agree totally.

    June 19, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Matt

    No time to meet with her, but he's certainly got time to grandstand about not meeting with her. What a joke. This is petty, counter-productive, and not what I'd expect from our elected officials. Grow up!

    To the same effect he should denounce Sen. Ensign for cheating on his wife with a staffer and never speak with him again, EVER.

    June 19, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. nota dem

    why meet with her, she is a RACIST and everyone knows it.

    June 19, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. RCLGuard

    Hey Nicole in Oklahoma – I'd love to hear your view of gay people.

    June 19, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. YMD

    Sotomayor does not need the aid of affirmative action. She has earned her supreme court nomination. Many of you seem to be unaware of Sotomayor's credentials.

    "Sotomayor graduated with an A.B., summa cum laude, from Princeton University in 1976, and received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979, where she was an editor at the Yale Law Journal. She was an advocate for the hiring of Latino faculty at both schools. She worked as an Assistant District Attorney in New York for five years before entering private practice in 1984. She played an active role on the boards of directors for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the State of New York Mortgage Agency, and the New York City Campaign Finance Board. Sotomayor was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H. W. Bush in 1991 and confirmed in 1992.
    Sotomayor has ruled on several high-profile cases. In 1995, she issued a preliminary injunction against Major League Baseball which ended the 1994 baseball strike. Sotomayor made a ruling allowing The Wall Street Journal to publish Vince Foster's final note. In 1997, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Her nomination was slowed by the Republican majority in the Senate, who wanted to deny her an easy confirmation that could enhance her prospects for a later Supreme Court nomination, but she was eventually confirmed in 1998. On the Second Circuit, Sotomayor has heard appeals in more than 3,000 cases, and has written about 380 opinions. Sotomayor has also taught at the New York University School of Law and Columbia Law School."
    Information from the following source http://www.wikipedia.org/

    June 19, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. Roger from CA

    Nice open-mindedness, idiot! I'm sure all the sentient folks of Oklahoma (of course, how many could there be if they voted you in?) are just horrified and embarassed.

    The logic that you won't even consider voting for Sotomayor because you opposed her Circuit Court appointment 11 years ago makes my head spin:

    1. Did you REALLY fully and open-mindedly consider her qualifications even THEN? Or did you just reflexively reject her because she was nominated by Clinton?

    2. Do you really think it is beyond all possibility that new or different facts or circumstances have arisen in the last 11 years? What about the simple fact that she now has an extensive record of work as an appellate judge, which is much closer to the work she would be expected to do on the Supreme Court than it is to her prior work as a trial judge.... in many ways, apples and oranges.

    3. But there IS the element of the Supreme Court having final say over matters, and having greater powers than the Circuit Courts to shape and modify precedent. In this way, judicial philosophy and temperament are more critical than in the lower courts. Now, you may well come out against her, but you need at least to consider these things.

    But you are just another pea-brained GOP idiot, who probably actually misses the bull-headed, closed-minded style of GW Bush.

    It makes me angry that you are a Federal official and that you get to soil what it means to be an American.

    June 19, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. Darth Cheney

    Wah, I don't wike her, I gonna take my widdle ball and go home.

    June 19, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. dee

    Jim isn't worth a flip I live in Oklahoma and for the life of me I do not understand why they keep(I have never) voting him back in. But to show just how backward this place is, tattoos have only been legal the last 2 years.

    June 19, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. cecilia

    I am so sick of you rude, know it all, gun tottin, war mongering republicans – how rude are you anyway – how unprofessional – to dismiss a Supreme Count nominee – grow up and act like a man

    June 19, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. David Newport, OR

    I am so sick of republicans. They are not the fabric that America was built on. If they do not want to even talk...then it is time to separate this country. I will no longer support their ignorance or values.

    June 19, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. toya

    To Nicole: the 20 something self proclaimed apathetic person that wrote at 4:43pm:

    If Im not mistaken he is appointed by his constituents and he is in White House on their behalf. Beyond a debate on liberal and conservative sides, he should meet with her on the behalf of the people who voted for him to be there. If his choice is based on "personal feeling" then I hope his entire constituency knows that he is only their when "his feelings get hurt"
    anyway, I agree that his choice should not be called racists but its a poor choice if its only due t his feelings

    June 19, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. dieter

    Let them talk... maybe by 2012 we can have a third party alternative to balance power since these group of clowns are only digging their grave deeper and deeper. Buh, bye GOP...

    June 19, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. k.arthur hyer

    j, yea it said she once workrd for Burger Doodle. If she worked there she can't possibly be qualified to serve on the court!

    June 19, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. RCLGuard

    Young White Moron

    Check your grammar and comma usage.

    June 19, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. toya

    not white house...... I meant congress LMAOO oops typo !

    June 19, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Steve (the real one)

    @JVS June 19th, 2009 4:18 pm ET
    Another racist GOP member. No surprise here. Not really worthy of a news item. Why do you hate Latina women Sen. Inhofe?
    ---------------------
    Sotomayor represents ALL Latiinas? When did that happen?? Did it ever occur to you it is her POLICIES that he doesn't. Sorry JVS, that post of yours is a bit moronic!

    June 19, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. ender

    Nicole.

    The Rebulican party is a leader in spewing hate against anyone or anything they do not agree with. They have been for decades.

    But the moment someone says something sladering a Republican or even if the Republican percives a comment from a Democrat to be sladerous you all stand up affronted and crying for appologise and claim the Democrat has "gone too far".

    The republicans have been dishing it out left and right for decades now.

    But they've proven beyond a shadow of a doubt they cannot "take it".

    You people are weak beyond comprehension.

    June 19, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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