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. Al Mellen

    The senator is showing his true side,,,,,as disrespectable as can be. Evidently he has no respect for someone he disagrees with. This attitude is why America has lost a lot of friends throught the world. This arrogant man should be ashamed of himself. Apparently he has a flaw in his character. I have to presume that he is extremely religious,,,,,,another hypocrite.

    June 19, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. K.

    She was good enough to be nominated to the U.S. District Court by George H. W. Bush in 1991...but this guy won't even take a meeting??

    Self-righteousness and intolerance (on BOTH sides) will be the end of this country!

    June 19, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. cg

    Ugly. Petty. Spiteful. Yep, of course he's a Republican.

    June 19, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. Larry - Hazleton, pa

    Inofe is a joke – same ole stuff from the GOP – bad manners is something that they really don't understand as they have no manners – My only hope is that the republican go the way of there first party the whigs – never to return.

    June 19, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. Vincent Petrosino

    He needs to meet with her again because not only is it protocol but she has decided many more cases since the last time he reviewed her case history. This man is a FOOL and a disgrace. So he believes that a mistake he made more than a decade ago cannot be corrected? Has he looked at her updated record? This is unbelievable and unprofessional.

    June 19, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Chad

    While I disagree with his politics I do think he is right. He can't support a person he didn't support at a lower job...he would look like a huge hypocrite. Not to mention that the dems would use it against him in any election (see flip flopper)!

    I do fail to see how meeting with her means you support her. I would think it is her opportunity to try and change your mind about her, and your opportunity to grill her on the things you have questions about...it is called being professional. Leave it to the GOP to not try and understand anybody, assuming they know best. Assumption=the mother of all screw ups!

    She will be confirmed barring some huge scandel. Next story please.

    June 19, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. roger denkert

    Good for you!!

    June 19, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Paul I

    If he has made up his mind, he doesn't need to meet with her nor should he be obligated to say anything further. The voters of Oklahoma can decide come elections whether this is the kind of representation they wish to have in the Senate. For him, the case is closed and so is his mind.

    June 19, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. Eric

    Get a life.

    June 19, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. Mick

    @ Jen from CA

    "winey losers"? No, the Dems kicked the Repiglicans' backsides in the last two elections. That's the textbook definition of winner. Unless you're a moronic Repiglican grasping at straws.

    And by the way Jen the Genius, it's "whiny" you semi-literate cretin.

    Enjoy your 21% irrelevance, loser Repiglicans.

    June 19, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. Ryan H

    Absolutely pathetic. As a senator, he certainly can vote "yes" or "no" on this nomination, but c'mon...at least pretend to feign interest and engagement on one of the most important duties a president and the US Senate has. At a minimum, the senator could have taken the opportunity to get to know her. Kinda takes the "courtesy" out of "courtesy call," if you ask me. Sticking to his right to vote or his responsiiblity does not mean checking politeness at the door. Do your job: inform yourself to "advise and content," Mr. Senator.

    June 19, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. Adam Robinette

    This is not going to make things better for Republicans. There being characterized as bitter, bible-thumping, pasty white, xenophobes. This doesn't exactly help erase that stigma.

    Americans are tired of listening to the complaining. It only makes the party look like sore losers. And the moderates Republicans are supposed to be trying to convert over, are not interested.

    June 19, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. Dude

    So does everyone involved with the Obama administration have to go on "tours". She has to go around and meet individually with all of them? Why is that? Obamanation and company just can't accept that anyone would disagree with them. It's like when my kids keep asking ad asking until they hope I will change my mind and say YES despite twelling them NO 100 times before. I think he is right that it is a waste of both their times on one hand, but on the other hand I would think he would want to meet with someone who could be our next Supreme Court justice.

    June 19, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. don corpier

    proud member..of no. ben, malclave, chris w, new yorker, mj, mississippi mike, paul from kissimmee and dan c- you people disgust me with your hatred, ignorance and racist attitudes. you folks are just what adolf hitler appealed to in nazi germany. you have a right to express your opinions no matter how draconian they may be. i will support that right period. this is far more than you little right wing creeps would do for me. you folks dont even have the balls to give your full names-i do. crawl back under your rocks.

    June 19, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. lapodaca

    AND IF I STICK MY HEAD IN THE SAND, SHE'LL DISAPPEAR AND WE WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT HER AGAIN. The conservative Republicans are embarrasing me with their holier than thou attitudes. They've got to come to the realization that they are completely out of step with mainstream America, and when they do that, maybe, just maybe they'll win some elections again. For shame, GOP>

    June 19, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. Roz

    I was in complete agreement with you Nicole until you ended with the blue state, pre-school attitude insults. How can you ask people not to judge you and insult you when you turn around and do the same thing? How can you ask not to be labeled, categorized & generalized about, when you do the same thing? I am liberal & conservative, I have strong religious beliefs and I live in a so called red state, AZ, but it does not define me.
    As for the Republican not wanting to meet with her, I see it as just one more example of the Republican’s unwillingness to be even a little accommodating, don't vote for her fine, but at least have some respect and show people you are not some rigid hard line elitist.

    June 19, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. Chris

    Everytime I read the 'comments' portion of a story I grieve more for our great country and it's passing. No one can stand on principle anymore, everyone has to be politically correct in our society or they automatically earn a label. I respect an individual that can come to a conclusion based on his convictions (and the convictions of the the people he represents) and simply state no thanks, I have all the information I need. She is not going to say anything but that which she has been coached to say in order to avoid any controversy – why waste her time or the Senator's time for that matter. It is this 'politically correct' attitude that has placed us in the predicament we are in now – an African American president that has no business running this country and as his greatest legacy, oversee the further demise of this country into a tyranical socialist state. I grieve – for those too blind to see, may the scales fall from their eyes.

    June 19, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. Lisa in Shelton CT

    You could turn around, if you'd admit you were WRONG! The idiots who claim most of her decisions were wrong and overturned – in over three thousand cases; only a handful were appealed to the high court and less than 10 cases were overturned. So >2990 decisions were correct. Do the math.

    June 19, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  19. Rare OK Dem

    Inhofe is like much of this state, If it isn't conservative, isn't pro-life then isn't good. He is just playing the role most of the voters in this state want him to. I do not think it is right for any rep not to meet her, it is like having a member of the board miss interviewing a possible new CEO. Against her or not there are things such as common courtesy and and keeping an open mind on choices, but then again this is Inhofe so both go out the window.

    June 19, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Mark

    He is just a jerk. Stupid hick.

    June 19, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Austin

    I love the logic. He already voted against her once without meeting her, so why would he need to meet her now? Hey, isn't Inhofe the one who said, during his campaign, that homosexuality in Oklahoma was so rampant that high school girls weren't allowed to go to the bathroom at the same time? Inhofe is nuts! I don't care much about anything he says.

    June 19, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  22. Bubba

    Republicans are like spoiled brats, whining their way through life.

    June 19, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. MJHS1967

    The party of NO :( will Rove – oveR :( :( :(

    June 19, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. Lisa in Shelton CT

    thankfully we don't need his vote! ROFL

    June 19, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. WW

    To Ron: I do not like it that Fox News has created such an "us-versus-them" mentality that everything should be reduced to "the liberals" vs everybody else. I get tired of reading about how "the liberals" are ruining everything by (I assume) the devoted audience of Fox News. That being said, I remember the Miguel Estrada (spelling?) thing and you are absolutely correct. I was disappointed in the actions of the Democratic party back then and the sitting Democratic congressman deserved criticism for filibustering the Estrada nomination (although I don't remember any refusals to shake his hand). Still, it is odd for Senator Inofe to draw attention to his decision to not meet with her – it seems like grandstanding to me.

    June 19, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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