July 24th, 2009
11:42 AM ET
5 years ago

Hatch to vote against Sotomayor

Sen. Orrin Hatch announced Friday that he opposes Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Sen. Orrin Hatch announced Friday that he opposes Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court.

(CNN) - Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch said Friday he will vote against Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court, the first time the Utah Republican has voted against a high court nominee in his three decades as a member of Senate Judiciary Committee.

"After thoroughly reviewing Judge Sotomayor's record and being able to hear her testimony and responses during the hearing process, I reluctantly, and with a heavy heart, have found that I cannot support her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court," Hatch said in a statement. "In truth, I wish President Obama had chosen a Hispanic nominee that all Senators could support. I believe it would have done a great deal for our great country."

Hatch's announcement came shortly after fellow Senate Judiciary Committee Republican John Cornyn also announced he would not support Sotomayor. So far South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is the only Republican on the panel who has said he will vote for Obama's Supreme Court pick.

Sotomayor will become the first of 11 Supreme Court nominees Hatch will vote against.

Full statement after the jump:

"I entered into the confirmation process of Judge Sotomayor with the strong desire to vote in favor of her nomination. Her credentials and experience are very impressive and her personal demeanor is pleasantly cordial and friendly. I found that the great respect I have for Judge Sotomayor's heritage and history added even more to my desire to carefully review her record and opinions in hopes of finding them truly grounded in the rule of law and acceptable to earn the support and trust of the American people and myself.

"Arriving at a final decision was particularly difficult because I like and highly respect Judge Sotomayor and, in general, give a great deal of deference to any President's nominee. The prospect of a woman of Puerto Rican heritage serving on the Supreme Court brought great excitement to me and says a lot about America.

"However, after thoroughly reviewing Judge Sotomayor's record and being able to hear her testimony and responses during the hearing process, I reluctantly, and with a heavy heart, have found that I cannot support her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. In truth, I wish President Obama had chosen a Hispanic nominee that all Senators could support. I believe it would have done a great deal for our great country. Although Judge Sotomayor has a compelling life story and dedication to public service, her statements and record were too much at odds with the principles about the judiciary in which I deeply believe.

"As I said during the hearing, some of Judge Sotomayor's critics have been intemperate and unfair. No nominee deserves that kind of treatment. I was grateful her confirmation hearing was both dignified and thorough, as they all should be. I was particularly pleased that Judge Sotomayor felt her hearing was as gracious and fair as she could have asked for.

"During my analysis, I focused on her record and applied standards and principles that define the kind of judge all Americans need. Qualifications for judicial service include not only legal experience but, more importantly, a nominee's approach to judging. This makes Judge Sotomayor's judicial philosophy more important than her stellar resume. I thoroughly examined her record with the more exacting focus appropriate for a Supreme Court nomination. This included reading and studying Judge Sotomayor's speeches, articles, and cases; meeting with and hearing from legal experts and advocates from different perspectives; and actively participating in the confirmation hearing.

"The duty of confirmation entrusted to all Senators requires we determine whether Judge Sotomayor has the legal experience and, more importantly, the judicial philosophy that properly equips her for service on the Supreme Court. I have done my best to leave politics aside and stay true to this standard during all twelve Supreme Court confirmations I have participated in. It saddens me to realize that after reviewing her record, I have reluctantly concluded that I cannot vote in favor of her confirmation. However, I wish her well in her future endeavors and believe she is a wonderful and talented American with much to offer this great country."

– CNN's Bill Mears contributed to this report


Filed under: Orrin Hatch • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. LacrosseMom

    Well, Mr. Hatch, I am not surprised. Once again the GOP proofs that they are the Party of NO.

    Grumpy Obstructionists Party!

    July 24, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Obama 2.0

    And Many will vote against Hatch!

    July 24, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Bill, MI

    Here we go again, the real question you should all ask yourself is why obama voted against all of Bushs people ?

    Answer; they where aginst a GIMME,GIMME, social justice society.

    July 24, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. mike,texas

    No is the only word in their dictionary.

    July 24, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    of course he will. With threats of being called a RINO by fat boy and having his "rating" lowered by the nutty gun lobby, what else could he do?

    July 24, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. MsDp

    This is no surprise, but expected. He made that perfectly clear a long time ago.

    July 24, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. Ann

    Larry "Republicans can vote whatever they want. Their votes don't matter!"

    Of course they don't matter. You Americans are already in the Communist era bowing to the single party ruling.

    July 24, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Kate in SW Fla

    NRA. The Republican party is bought and paid for by the NRA, the Oil and Gas industry and the Insurance companies.

    July 24, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. lou

    He is absolutely RIGHT not to support her. NObama should have presented a less volatile left wing nut even if he/she does have to be Hispanic to pander to the Illegals

    July 24, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. Jose

    His Vote Really does not Matter.

    He needs to Just Hatch his own Eggs :)

    July 24, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. Steve

    Before you all get too carried away with bashing Senator Hatch remember this, he voted for Justice Ginsburg who is widely considered the most liberal justice on the bench. Perhaps, just perhaps he is on to something here.

    July 24, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Audrey Fryer

    So – you serve the NRA – not the people of Utah – how immature and childish!

    July 24, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. xavier

    I guess the NRA waved to big a stick at Hatch and he wimped out. What a sissy.

    July 24, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. JonDie

    Angry, old white guy.

    July 24, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. tom

    Why should Obama even care about the GOP they have opposed him on the time of day. Hatch is your stereotypical white old man republican. Perhaps Harriet Myers would be a better choice.

    July 24, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. What are you people talking about?

    You individuals negatively bashing Hatch baffle me. Really, think about it. The man has never voted against a supreme court nominee in 3 DECADES!! 3!!...He is hoping for a hispanic appointed judge that would benefit the country, unfortunately this is not the one. He is not voting for her.

    You liberals keep talking about party politics this and party politics that. This had nothing to do with it, as proven by his voting in 3 decades.

    July 24, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Race is a big factor in his decision and their is no other reason. Race is alive in well in this country, and now that we have a Black President these racist white people are showing their true colors. Republicans have been against any thing this President set out to do and you thing people don't see this as racist. For three decades he's never voted against a SCOTUS nominee. Racist and you know it.

    July 24, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Keeth in California

    Hatch sees monsters where there are none.

    July 24, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. donttreadonme

    Obama choose Sotomayer in spite of of her racist/sexist comments.
    It is amazing that the dems won't even hold her accountable for her own words!

    July 24, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. Cynthia

    I hope the people of these states really take a look at the these morons they have representing them in their states. We don't need old tired brain dead losers like hatch and orrin, don't reelect them.

    July 24, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Marc

    I will not start theorizing about why he did, nor will bash him nor anything else. He claims that he will do it because 'After thoroughly reviewing Judge Sotomayor's record' he came into conclusion that she's unfit for the post. His right and prerrogative.
    But... 'I wish President Obama had chosen a Hispanic nominee that all Senators could support'?
    AFTER ALL THAT HOT AIR BECAUSE OF THE 'WISE LATINA' LINE????

    July 24, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. T22

    Recall that most Democrats opposed good nominees of Republican Presidents. It's not too surprising. I'm Republican and I would vote for her, but I can disagree without hating the man.

    To the person who made the comment about him representing the NRA, not the people of Utah, I'd have to guess that there are a good number of NRA members and pro-gun rights folks in the state.

    July 24, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  23. Funny, AK

    Seriously, if you look at her record and her testimony, they're the complete opposite. What makes you think she's not going to do the same while she's serving in Supreme Court? Common Sense.

    July 24, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. Dave, Central Illinois

    Good for him.

    July 24, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. Karon

    Big surprise! Another white guy who won't vote for anyone but another white guy! He's a racist just like the majority of the GOP!

    SHAMEFUL!

    July 24, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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