July 22nd, 2009
01:04 PM ET
5 years ago

Key GOP senator to back Sotomayor

Sen. Lindsey Graham announced Wednesday that he will vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor.
Sen. Lindsey Graham announced Wednesday that he will vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A key Republican senator announced Wednesday he plans to vote for Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor, adding further momentum to an easy confirmation for President Obama's first high court pick.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham's decision bucks the views of most of his conservative GOP colleagues. Republican Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona and Thad Cochran of Mississippi preceded Graham on the Senate floor to oppose the 55-year-old federal appeals court judge.

Graham called Sotomayor "extremely well-qualified" with an extensive legal and judicial record, but criticized some of her views expressed on and of the bench. He lamented "the politicization of the judiciary" that he said has hurt public respect for the courts and the legislature itself. Three other moderate Republicans have previously announced they would vote to confirm Sotomayor.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote next Tuesday whether to confirm her, followed days later by a full Senate vote. Confirmation is expected, and GOP leaders have said they would not filibuster the nominee.


Filed under: Lindsey Graham • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Steve, New York City

    Senator Graham is a good guy (especially for a Republican from a Southern state).

    July 22, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. Jimmy the Greek

    Are you expecting someone to scratch your belly, Lindsey, since you rolled over like a puppy?

    July 22, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. Steve, Columbia SC

    As one of his constituents, I am cautioning Senator Graham on his decision to support the nominee. Once on the Supreme Court, I believe he and everyone else will live to regret such support of this nominee for a verrrrrrrrrrrrrrry long time.

    July 22, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. mfelder

    Thanks for being fair Senator Graham and not letting your idealogy rule your decision.

    July 22, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Steph

    Now that is news. I just about fell out of my chair! I have to give him credit for making an independent decision. Mark this day on the calendar...I actually like a decision made my Sen. Graham.

    July 22, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Dave

    Thank you Senator Graham for being a grown-up in a Congress full of children. You are indeed a role model for how ALL members of Congress should act. Keep up the good work.

    a conservative Republican

    July 22, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    And why not? He already milked the race issue for what it was worth...might as well do the right thing now that he's made his contribution to riling up the GOPer base for fundraising purposes. They'll stay angry about her now all by themselves.

    July 22, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Murrin

    This is not surprising. GOP senators will vote for a candidate they believe will work. On the other hand Obama and fellow democrats will vote party line against anyone who does not want abortion on demand, or has any conservative background.

    July 22, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. Whatz up

    This is WHY Republicans are such COWARDS and continue to exude nothing but political stupidity time and time again.

    Both Sessions and Graham did nothing but played political "grandstanding" during the Sotomayor hearings. These SOUTHERN WHITE MEN do nothing but demoralize and marginalize minorities every chance they get knowing full well they have NO VETO POWER.

    When you have folks like Sessions, Graham, Cornyn, Boehnor and DeMitt talking about all this "water loo" HOGWASH, it just proves how desperate Republicans are. They have NO HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS and yet all they do is run off at the mouth and attack the President.

    Healthcare is NOT about the President, he's GOT healthcare like he stated. Healthcare is about ALL AMERICANS which is something Republicans FAIL to focus on. They focus MORE on attacking the President than WORKING on REFORMING HEALTHCARE FOR ALL AMERICANS!!!

    NOT SURPRISING, TALK IS TRULY CHEAP AND RIGHT NOW THE GOP IS FULL OF CHEAP SUITS.

    July 22, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. renea

    I told you she will be confirmed even though its for political reasons,and the repulicans know why. Congradulations Judge Sotomayor.

    July 22, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. Republicans are the American Taliban

    What is John McCains position of Ms. Sotomayors confirmation????

    July 22, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Amazed

    Holy smokes! Independent thought? Guts in the face of his constituents? There still may be hope for the GOP!

    July 22, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. jaye

    So, who is Lindsey Graham trying to impress?
    Also, when is he going to come out of the closet???

    July 22, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. Darth Vadik, CA

    Although I despise Republican politicians, I've always felt Graham was not the typical Republican, he had a piece of his soul left somewhere inside him. Although he may have seemed to have lost it during the Bush regime, from time to time he seems to find it.

    P.S. Is it just me do all the Republican politicians seem like they are under the "imperius curse" from the corporate overlords.

    July 22, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  15. Luke Brown

    I am glad he is going to vote for her. It sends a good signal that Republicans are not against everything. She's going to win anyway. Why not keep your powder dry for when it can make a difference?

    I am baffled by his complaint about the "politicization of the judiciary" ... The GOP holds five of the nine seats on SCOTUS and a majority of the Federal judgeships. Is that what he is talking about?

    Politics and the Supreme Court? Bush v. Gore (2000) 5-4. Need I say more?

    July 22, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. stormerF

    Traitor........like the Maine Republicans,shuck and run.

    July 22, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. David

    Who cares????

    July 22, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. Gator

    She's bad medicine for individual rights.

    July 22, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. Nsikan Jacob

    Yeah, but we will not forget all that he said at the hearing.

    July 22, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. john

    This text is not very well written, is Lindsey Graham backing Soto Mayor?

    July 22, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. njsardine

    I will say this much – Lindsey surprises me sometimes... But it is a decision I'm sure he will not regret...

    July 22, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. Me

    I'm glad that one of the senators I'm the most critical of has finally broken down and understood that it's how she judges and not her political views. Thank you, Lindsay.

    July 22, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. CC for better country direction!

    VERY GOOD! Republicans were just mad because she was Obama's pick. If it was GWB's pick, they would've voted for her hands down!

    July 22, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Laverne

    Oh boy Senator Graham, your repub playmates are not going to play with you for a while because of this or maybe you are not a "real republican" for supporting Sotomayor.

    July 22, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. carlos only smarter

    was the ignorant kyl wearing his jacket on the senate floor?

    as for his reelection....he should kiss it good bye.........

    July 22, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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