July 27th, 2009
04:00 PM ET
4 years ago

Grassley to vote against Sotomayor

Grassley is voting against Sotomayor.
Grassley is voting against Sotomayor.

(CNN) – Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Monday he will vote against confirming Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

"I had hoped to be able to vote for Judge Sotomayor to be the next Justice on the Supreme Court, but after a thorough review of the hearing record and her cases, speeches and writings, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot support Judge Sotomayor’s nomination," Grassley said.

It will be the first no vote for Grassley on a Supreme Court nominee in the Iowa Republican's three-decade Senate career.

Full statement after the jump

Senator Chuck Grassley today released the following comment regarding his decision to vote against the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court.

“I’ve had the opportunity to vote on many judges and Justices since becoming a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. We confirmed a great number of them. I had hoped to be able to vote for Judge Sotomayor to be the next Justice on the Supreme Court, but after a thorough review of the hearing record and her cases, speeches and writings, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot support Judge Sotomayor’s nomination.

“My vote must be based on the nominee’s respect for and adherence to the Constitution and judicial restraint. I question if Judge Sotomayor will be able to set aside personal biases and prejudices to decide cases in an impartial manner and in accordance with the Constitution.

“At her confirmation hearing, I asked specific questions about the property rights of private citizens afforded by the Fifth Amendment. My colleagues asked detailed questions about the now famous Ricci case, the right to privacy and the Second Amendment right to bear arms. I was not convinced that Judge Sotomayor understands the rights given to Americans under the Constitution, or that she will refrain from expanding or restricting those rights based on her personal preferences. I am not certain that Judge Sotomayor won’t allow those personal beliefs and preferences to dictate the outcome of cases before her. There’s no question that nominees have become quite adept at dodging our questions, but her lack of clear and direct answers to simple questions regarding the Constitution were troubling. Some of her answers were so at odds with statements she has made over the years, that it was difficult to reconcile them.

“Nearly 20 years ago, then Judge David Souter talked during his confirmation hearing about courts “filling vacuums” in the law. That concept greatly worried me, because courts should never fill voids in the law left by Congress. Since Justice Souter has been on the Supreme Court, his decisions have proven that he does believe that courts do indeed fill vacuums in the law. My vote has come back to haunt me time and time again. So, I’ve asked several Supreme Court nominees about courts filling vacuums at their hearings. Her lukewarm answer left me with the same pit in my stomach I’ve had with Justice Souter’s rulings that I had hoped to have cured with his retirement, and reinforced my concerns with her hearing testimony, cases and speeches.

“Only time will tell which Sonia Sotomayor will be on the Supreme Court. Is it the judge who proclaimed that the court of appeals is where “policy is made,” or is it the nominee who pledged “fidelity to the law?” Is it the judge who disagreed with Justice O’Connor’s statement that a wise woman and a wise man will ultimately reach the same decision, or is it the nominee who rejected President Obama’s empathy criteria?

“There’s no doubt that Judge Sotomayor has the credentials on paper to be a Justice on the Supreme Court. But, her nomination hearing left me with more questions than answers about her judicial philosophy, and I cannot support her nomination.”


Filed under: Charles Grassley • Sonia Sotomayor
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Another republican shooting himself in the foot. I guess these republican senators don't need the Latino vote.

    July 27, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. xavier

    Yet another republican bends over and takes its in from thde NRA.

    July 27, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. Emanuel

    Big surprise.

    July 27, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. Larry

    Grassley, no one cares what you think.

    Meet your new Supreme Court Justice, the Hon. Sonia Sotomayor.

    July 27, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. Jim in San Mateo

    Senator Grassley's relection had better not depend on women and Hispanics. If it does, he's toast.

    July 27, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Adam

    Wow, the Republicans playing politics. There's a shocker! Its hard to imagine that some of the same senators that voted for her before wouldn't do it now. To me, that questions them, not Judge Sotomayor.

    July 27, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. D. Tree

    Well Republicans have to make politics out of everything, now that America has voted them out of power.

    July 27, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Ken, AZ

    This is not surprising. The republicans are marching in lock-step once again.

    July 27, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Esco

    More racial tension... The Repubs will do anything to come against Obama and Sotomayor, especially since they are both minorities. They may not admit it openly; they have already denied accusations of racial profiles against Sotomayor... Its just too much for them to swallow and watch the system change everyday.

    Go ahead and spend your millions on more campaign ads repubs...

    July 27, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Rose

    And he is trying to make it sound like it is not politically motivated?Give me a break.

    July 27, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Matt

    GOP Senators says: ......... We Republicans can not vote for an Hispanic woman. If one white woman had been nominated , we all Republicans would have voted for that nominee.

    July 27, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. No Hillary = No Obama

    Who cares – she doesn't need his vote.

    July 27, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. fellow from Chicago

    It says something about Ms. Sotomayor if two long time Republicans like Hatch and Grassley who never voted against a Supreme Court nominee including far left liberal jurists for decades like Ginsberg, just can't bring themselves to vote for this liberal. Scary.

    July 27, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. Irma in North Carolina

    All these republicans that will not vote for the judge, I wonder if they thought about how many hispanic votes they will get when it come election time. They just dont want to admit it, but they are a bunch of racits. They cant stand a person of different color. I hope this all comes back to haunt them.

    July 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. BudInTexas

    I want to vote against everything Obama wants say the GOP.

    If Obama said today was Monday, the GOP would vote against having anymore Mondays.

    What a crazy bunch of loons.

    July 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Carol

    Funny how all the white male republicans are deciding to vote for one of the most qualified candidates ever brought before the judiciary committee. The are showing their backward, political, and yes, racist and sexist inner selves...

    July 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. Mark

    It's all politics

    July 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Dennis

    This goes both ways. Many Deocrats voted against John Roberts who had spotless credentials as well.

    July 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. chris

    it takes an iowan to stand up to certain hate and ridicule and do what is right. that's where the politics is involved. liberals will take this one vote and never leave it alone. that's ok though. chuck won't mind. why? because he knows he did the right thing. senator grassley has a fantastic record, and has done great things for iowans.

    there HAD to be a better qualified nominee than ms. sotomayor.

    July 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  20. Arlene, Illinois

    As a member of the Grand Old White Party, No Senjorita, I will
    not vote for you.

    July 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. judesuper

    Repubs have a tendency to ruin everything with their political posturing. Which is a good reason that you should not be re-elected.

    July 27, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. Ex-Repug

    No to Sotomayer, no to health care, no to the environment, no, no , no no, no.

    July 27, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. Chas in Iowa

    This guy has become a real laughing stock and a burden to our state.
    His opinions are right in goose step with the GOP montra.
    He has not represented the people of Iowa for quite some time.

    July 27, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. MW in CA

    Mein Fierier Limbaugh and his party the NRA have given their marching orders. Who cares whats good for this country or its citizens just follow orders.

    Sotomayor is more than qualified to be on the supreme court and her history of rulings are very well within mainstream judicial prudence. The repugs are only proving that they are the party of obstruction and lies.

    July 27, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. Kate in SW Fla

    Another coward, afraid of the NRA. If they had supported her, so would he.

    July 27, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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