July 13th, 2009
03:19 PM ET
5 years ago

Specter praises pick of first Latina justice

Arlen Specter offered praise for Sonia Sotomayor Monday during the first day of her confirmation hearing.
Arlen Specter offered praise for Sonia Sotomayor Monday during the first day of her confirmation hearing.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pennsylvania, appeared to offer strong praise for the pick of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor on Monday, saying that the choice of a Latina judge represents a long-overdue nod to America's growing diversity.

It was wrong for the country to wait until 1967 to put the first African-American, Thurgood Marshall, on the high court, Specter said. It was also wrong to wait until 1981 to put the first woman, Sandra Day O'Connor, on the court.

Specter made his remarks during the first day of Sotomayor's Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings.

Specter, a former chairman of the committee, switched from the Republican to the Democratic party earlier this year. A number of liberal critics have expressed concern that he will not be a reliable Democratic vote.


Filed under: Arlen Specter • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Arlen is suring up the latino vote in PA.

    July 13, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. phonix86

    A good democrat, judgement based on race alone and no mention of qualifications.

    July 13, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Fan of Common Sense

    What a worm of a human being. There's nothing or nobody that this self-serving turncoat will not pander to.

    July 13, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. Gee

    Who cares what that jerk thinks....he is a lame duck on his way out....good ridance!!

    July 13, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. FLP

    What a suck up!! Trying to convince everyone he really is a Democrat?

    July 13, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Sharon Kitchen

    very correct.

    July 13, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Kris in AL

    Benedict Arlen!

    July 13, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Specter is a half-witted professional political turncoat with no principles and a powerful desire to serve as a lap dog to Obama. So there is a real recommendation for Sotomayer.

    July 13, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Phat Elvis

    Couldnt help but notice Sen Spector looks a little like Mr. Roper from Three's Company....

    but anyway, i agree with what he said!

    July 13, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Fernandez

    Mr. Specter
    How low will you stoop to get re-elected?

    July 13, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Loup Garou 782

    ArlenSpector is a "Self Made Man" and he worships his creator. He is also a frigging idiot.

    July 13, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. Danny E. Gonzalez

    I'm Very impress with Judge Sotomayor; regardless of what happens during this confirmation hearings she needs to be very proud of herlsef and the country should be very proud to have produce a judge of her caliber and character.

    July 13, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. dave

    America has a long historyof deep racial troubles. The whites have been victims of the hispanics for far too long. We need Southern white men to stand up to this vicous Latina.

    Silly statement, right. The woman has more courtroom experience than all of the current Supreme Court justices put together. So she is proud of being Puerto Rican. I am proud of my heritage too. I bet Jeff Sessions is proud of being lilly white.

    Neither bad hispanic nor bad black people have ever been a threat to white in this country. THE ONLY GROUP in this country that has ever threatened civil right is white against black and red and brown.

    To pretend that Sotomayer is a threat is lying Senator Sessions

    July 13, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Denna

    I believe that Judge Sotomayor should be confirmed. The GOP would love to crucify this woman but they don't dare. If they hope to remain relevant, they will have to have the Hispanic vote, including the votes of 'wise Latinas'. So go ahead. I dare you. It would be political suicide.

    July 13, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Predicta

    this will be his last confirmation hearing. He's out in November.

    July 13, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Proud Member..Party of No

    That clinches it for me. If Arlen Sphincter endorses her then I'm opposed.

    July 13, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. mr

    Sotomayor is the most qualified Supreme Court justice candidate in 100 years. A Senator would look absolutely bigoted to try to twist their arguments with lame accusations that nit -pick at the word empathy to give it the connotation of the word sympathy.

    Can't stress enough the fact that the Republican senators are the ones in the spotlight during these hearings, and they are looking very transparently bigoted.

    July 13, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. Tony

    Of course he wold. He has his nose stuck so far........................

    He would say whatever NOBAMA told him to say.

    This is his last term!!

    July 13, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. RP Michigan

    He is such a joke. He doesn't even know no one in either party respects his opinion.

    July 13, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. mark/cleveland

    From the creator the " magic bullet" theory , Mr . credibility himself- arrrrrlen sepctttttor!

    July 13, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. r edwards

    Correct. This is his last hearing. Come November he's gone and good riddance. Who cares what he thinks anyway. He talks out both sides of his mouth. And never really say anything of merit. Arlin, enjoy your retirement.

    July 13, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. Qoheleth

    "A number of liberal critics have expressed concern that he will not be a reliable Democratic vote. "

    Of course he won't, if by "Democratic" you mean "far left." A politician doesn't switch parties because he or she suddenly jumped from far right to far left or vice versa. People's political viewpoints, for the most part, shift gradually, as do the political philosophies of the parties themselves. Specter was a moderate Republican (i.e., not a "reliable Republican vote" before), and is a moderate Democrat now.

    The Republican party is cannibalizing itself as more and more the far right seems to be demanding ideological purity tests of Republicans, and those who fail find themselves criticized as "RINOs" and eventually driven out of the party, like Specter. These "liberal critics" who worry that Specter "will not be a reliable Democratic vote" make exactly the same mistake from the other side.

    July 13, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. Tim, Seattle

    Ha ha......the GOP is going to lose this too. Love the whining by the GOP posters though, its fun to watch them having anuerisms because their ideas have been exhausted and relegated to history's waste heap....and no one is truly listening to them anymore except for entertainment value

    July 13, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  24. catmom

    Listening to Republicans today in the Sotomayor hearings is like listening to a bunch of ten year olds. You didn't vote for me so I won't vote for you. You did it 30 years ago so we're gonna get you back, na nana nah nah. I mean, get over it. If you don't like her and don't feel she is qualified then don't vote for her. But please act like the adults you are supposed to be and quit whining like a bunch of sissies.

    The problem with Republicans is they are so vindictive. It's okay as long as they are the one's making the rules and are in charge. They can dish it out but not take it. Whine, whine, whine. That is all we have heard from them since the election. Get over yourselves and remember, the American people rejected your policies and ideology. They rejected your candidate and elected a Democrat

    July 13, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. yuri

    But naturally! He is a Dem, ain't he? A laud and an unconditional nod from a GOP will be a rare commodity for Sotomayor.

    July 13, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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