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. Mary Beth Shemeluk

    Just wait till we vote him out next election. He does not represent all of Oklahoma.

    June 19, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Corey, Maryland

    Just affirms my hatred of ALL Republicans. Plain and simple.

    June 19, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Phil

    Have the Repubes ever though that their hostility towards her will, when she IS confirmed, backfire and where she is on the fence may push her toward "payback"? Something you guys better think about!

    June 19, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. Midtown Tulsan

    Dear Senator Imhofe, Thank you for embarrassing us once again with your smugly self-righteous attitude coupled with impoliteness. I can't believe that my fellow Oklahomans routinely reelect you. To the rest of my fellow (non-Oklahoma) Americans: This is all part of Inhofe's game. He loves tweaking those uppity East Coast, smarty-pants liberals. I honestly think he gets a rise out of being ornery and contrarian, and oddly most of my fellow Oklahomans eat it up! Consider Inhofe's position on global warming or his position on the Law of the Sea. Except for a small group band of anti-science kooks and rabid America Firsters, there is national consensus on these issues. But Big Jim likes to flaunt his opposition on all the Sunday morning talk shows and in the newspapers.

    June 19, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. Kim

    Lots of us in Oklahoma don't understand how this clown continues to be re-elected. Oh wait-wave the flag, hold the apple pie, try and convince people they'll lose their guns and their Bibles, and mention God. That's how he continues to be re-elected. On behalf of progressive, moderate Oklahomans, please let me extend an apology

    June 19, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Ren from Baltimore

    Mississippi Mike,

    Proven she's sexist and racist, you say? Can one not be proud of being an American, and saying so, without being called an isolationist? Can one not be proud of enjoying sport shooting without being branded a terroristic killer?

    And the courts have overruled some three (3) of her over-one-thousand cases. She is thorough, follows the rules and letter of the law, is fair and forward-looking. This, according to higher courts, law schools, and most experts who have reviewed her cases.

    Mike, get over yourself. At least go out and make something of yourself, would you?

    June 19, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. G in BR

    Yeah no sense having an intelligent discussion when your mind is set on stupid. That's the way to represent the republican community Sen. Inhofe!!! WOW!!!!

    June 19, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  8. videodrome

    Mississippi Mike June 19th, 2009 3:30 pm ET

    It's been proven that she is a racist and sexist. Also, the Supreme Court has a habit of striking down her rulings from her circuit court. What, exactly, makes her such an attractive pick for this position?
    _______________
    Well, if Sotomayor is a "racist and sexist" person like you claim, then you good ol' boys down in Mississippi should have NO problem with bringing her into the fold, RIGHT?
    I think the only reason you are complaining, is that the "racist and sexist" lady decided not to become a Republican tool.
    ROFL

    June 19, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Lauren

    Instead of being close minded, I think he should have at least had the decency to meet with her. She was appointed to that post under George H. W. Bush. That had to be at least 16 years ago.

    June 19, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. purpletustin

    Inhofe and Oklahoma should succeed with Texas. Lived in Oklahoma for 15 years and found it to be a narrow minded, bigoted place. The Inhofe type were the reason I left Oklahoma.

    June 19, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. al/Alabama

    Another fine example of the GOP's inability to engage in useful debate with those whose views are not carbon copies of theirs. What a joke they are becoming. Perhaps Global Warming has fried their brains.

    June 19, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. Anne E.

    He was blatantly disrespectful and downright rude to former VP Al Gore when Gore testified before Congress; to the point of being an embarrassment. What made anyone think he'd be any more respectful to Judge Sotomayor?
    So sad that he's such a discredit to his parents. Surely he wasn't raised to be so disrespectful, rude and ignorant.

    June 19, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. Isabella

    Wow. SOOOO glad to know that we have open-minded leaders on the hill! So, Senator Inhofe, apparently Oklahomans pay you for your opinion, not your professionalism or your ability to legislate for them in an open-minded, bipartisan manner. Great for you, so very sad for Oklahomans, and Americans who actually CARE about doing what is right, instead of making arbitrary judgments against people you know NOTHING about. How can you begin to think you can vote on this Supreme Court candidate's abilities, if you've never even given her the opportunity to speak and educate you? If I am not mistaken, the definition of "Bigot" has your name in it.

    June 19, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. J

    Would you invite the girl scout into your house if you already knew you didn't like her cookies?

    June 19, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. videodrome

    So much for these Republican homeboys knowing how to treat a lady.
    They would probably snub their own mamas if these woman did not tow the line and agree 100% with what these guys think or say.
    Maybe Sen. James Inhofe needs some lessons on how to be a good old-fashioned gentleman.

    June 19, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. DrOil

    isn't this the same nut-case who keeps spouting off that global wamring is a hoax? i put him right up there with Mitch McConman and Jim Bunning. Senators that should retire immediately.

    June 19, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. RLG

    Just because he doesn't agree with her views doesn't mean he has to be so impolite. I'm glad he doesn't represent me in the Congress. Petty, petty man!

    June 19, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  18. Mberwa N.Y

    Very sad! he is not even willing to hear what she have to say..

    June 19, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. honest Ab

    What a shame and embarrassmment. Our brave troops are fighting for this country safety and to think that racism is still such a powerful tool being used in this country. My white American fellowmen, please try to understand what I am saying without hating me or judging me wrongly. It is a shame that this type of behavior is still being displayed by your kind and yes blacks as well. Just remember many of our troops are hispanic, asian, and black. How sickening is it to know that their love ones are being discrimnated against, while they are on the battlefield fighting for those people who are being racists. It really is sickening to know that this type of behavior still lives and breath in this country. Will the people of America please wake up and grow up. How in the world can we defend another country, when we exploit against our own.

    I am a military spouse, of a soldier who has deligently served this country for 24 years and has fought on the battlefield countless time. It really hurts to know that people still think and use the language they use toward their fellow citizens and servicemen. White America you will never know what it feel like to be hated because of your skin color. Many of you suggest get over it, it was in the past and has nothing to do with us now, but looking at some of the comments, actions of our leaders, and yes some of our neighboring families actions, how can we forget, if it is still being demostrated. It's like saying an old wound, it want bleed anymore, if the scab of that wound is scrapped it WILL bleed again. Likewise, racism will stay well and alive if we keep demostrating its power to separate.

    People just think, Bush was doing as bad as this administration and we didn't see the things we are seeing nor hearing from people. Some of you don't even have a clue to why you are saying what your saying. All you know is that there is someone in office, that many dislike for whatever reason, so you mimic their lines, hate, and fear tactics. Please can we be adults and try for once in our lifetime to get it right?

    For those of you questioning my voice, I am a proud black american (not African), who has stood by her husband for those 24 years, and votes independently according to whom I think will serve this country well by being fair to all Americans. And by no means am I a racists or indulge in prejudice, we as military spouses don't engage in such foolishness, we totally depend on one another for full support. For some of us, our military family is all we have. When our men and women fight in war, they don't bleed black, white, or brown, but RED! They bleed for this nation as a whole. You people need to realize that, before you spew your hate and foolishness. I want say ignorance, because that would imply you don't know any better, but you do know better, you just choose to walk in stupidity because that's what it really is. Racism is not something you are born with, it is a taught behavior, which means you can change or do something about that behavior, it's your choice. I would hope that people would start making the right choice, and that's to love, unite, and work together as one nation under God, regardless of color.

    June 19, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. Jeff E.

    As usual, the republican party's chasing its tail. On the one hand, they clammer for more time to review her extensive record. On the other hand, this guy doesn't seem inclined to review anything. He's already made up his mind. My sincere hope is that his constituents will give this smug, petulant child the boot from office.

    June 19, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. jolly john

    Oh yeah, if you haven't noticed, America isn't WHITE.

    June 19, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. Malcolm

    typical republican moron only thinking of himself and not what the people he works for want. But I wonder if god is telling him not to think for others and only think for himself?

    June 19, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. Hawk

    Reminds me of the old saying, "My mind is already made up, so don't confuse me with the facts."

    June 19, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. Carramea

    Another reason never to visit Oklahoma. A holier than the so called conservative Republican. I bet he states hes a Christian too. Obama is right about some of these cities with people who cling to guns and religions

    June 19, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  25. Josh

    I recently relocated to Oklahoma. The people that I have met here are some of the most kind, generous and gracious I've ever experienced. It saddens me that Senator Inhofe would refuse to meet with the nominee despite his opinion on her. I feel like he could have anticipated how this would reflect on the people he represents. Not all Oklahomans are like my Senator.

    June 19, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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