July 27th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
5 years ago

Sessions to 'withhold...consent' on Sotomayor

Judge Sotomayor was greeted by Sen. Patrick Leahy, center, and Sen. Sessions, right, during her recent confirmation hearings.
Judge Sotomayor was greeted by Sen. Patrick Leahy, center, and Sen. Sessions, right, during her recent confirmation hearings.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee announced Monday that he will not vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court.

In an op-ed published in Monday's USA Today, Sessions concedes that Sotomayor "will likely be confirmed." But the Alabama Republican says that "as someone who cares deeply about our great heritage of law, I must withhold my consent."

Sessions says he had decided not to support Sotomayor because of three decisions he finds troubling: a 2006 private property decision, her 2008 New Haven firefighters decision, and a 2009 decision about gun rights.

"These rulings have three things in common," Sessions writes in the newspaper. "Each was contrary to the Constitution. Each was decided in a brief opinion, short on analysis. And each was consistent with liberal political thought."

Sessions is the third Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee to announce his opposition to Sotomayor. He joins Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and Texas Sen. John Cornyn. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, another Republican on the committee, has announced he will vote for Sotomayor. The committee is expected to vote Tuesday on Sotomayor's confirmation.


Filed under: Jeff Sessions • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. John

    All very good reasons from Sessions. Liberals will paint this as a racial issue as always. But look through past votes on Thomas, Estrada and other and it rings hollow. Those judicial minorities that actually base opinions constitutionally instead of on international law are despised by the left.

    July 27, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. Jonathan Meigs

    Sessions is a great example of what's wrong with Congress - his partisan mind was made up before the hearings even started, and he kept running his mouth without running his brain all during the questioning "My mind is made up, don't confuse me with the facts..."

    Like many Americans, I'm fed up with these prima donnas acting like a bunch of squabling babies - greedy, corupt squabling babies at that!

    July 27, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. boothmab

    The Senator, once again, shows why the public has such a low regard for politicians in general and the GOP right now: ideology and partisanship trump voting on whether the vote should be on qualifications. Even most Democrats swallowed voting for the current Chief Justice. Senator Sessions further illustrates why the GOP, the party of 'no,' is becoming irrelevant.

    July 27, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Dan Holiday

    How is it that the GOP is sinking like a rock? Is it their increase in polling numbers when compared to Democrats? Is it their increase in party identification? Is it the fact that more and more people trust them on all of the important issues as opposed to the Democrats? Is it due to the tanking numbers put up by Hussein Obama? Is it because out of the last 40 years a Republican has been in office 28 of those years? Hmmm. I think you people that say the GOP is doomed need to start acquainting yourselves with the facts. Stop believing everything you type and read honest to God data for once. Just because you type it doesn't make it true.....lmao.

    July 27, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. PJ

    Sure, she's a wise Latina, but who is going to stand up for all the dumb Latinas out there? But seriously, Kevin from Maine cannot say her record is stellar when all of her major decisions save one have been reversed by higher courts. Do your homework Kevin before you crap@ the mouth.

    July 27, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. Tony in Maine

    Sessions is living proof that Lincoln made a big mistake when he didn't say goodbye to the south. I'm sure that there are good, intelligent, tolerant, positive human beings down there, but they are lost in the shadow of morons like Sessions.

    July 27, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  7. palebluedot

    So the Republicans don't like Sotomayor................nothing new there.This party has no idea whats it's doing,(ie Palin is our hope for the future).The only way they can stay in the public eye is to act and say crazy things as they realize that the White house is YEARS away.They are like small childern,crying over spilt milk.

    July 27, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Honest AB

    Steph, I agree. Who really cares, it's all political and I am so sick of them all.

    July 27, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Another big surprise from the Republican party...my how it has changed since Lincoln's time....Sessions is still a Southerner and votes like a Southerner.

    July 27, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Gonzo in Houston

    The GOP is missing a great chance to refute the "party of no" reputation. Instead, they will make themselves look even worse.

    July 27, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Scottyrw

    The REPUBLICAN'Ts are wrong on everything. Wrong on the WAR! Wrong on the ECONOMY! Wrong on Terri Shivo! AND they are wrong on this. They remind me of Mr. McGoo. Hurting everyone around them, but blind to the fact!

    July 27, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. Obama: A change U can beleive In

    Sessions is a racist anyways. From watching the entire proceedings, I could see in his eyes that he had a problem with the judge. White man is mad the #1 a President is black and #2 a judge is latino. I bet Jim Crow is flipping over in hie miserable grave.

    I use to vote republican while in the military, but after seeing all the hatred for minorities in this country, I will never vote for them again.

    No apathy for the less fortunate or the sick.......all they care about is perserving their riches and influence.

    July 27, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Thebe

    But the Alabama Republican says that "as someone who cares deeply about our great FAILED heritage of law WHICH FAVORS WHITES, I must withhold my consent."

    July 27, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. The Lady

    As long as she is confirmed it does not matter, but if she is not I think this will stir up a mess. She has made a few mistakes just like everyone else and it did not stop them from making office why should it stop her.

    July 27, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Turnabout is Fair Play

    That's okay Mr. Sessions, you and the other two Republicans will be remembered along with the others that vote against her by the Hispanic community in 2010 AND 2012. Way to go fool. :-)

    July 27, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Sen. Sessions probably still believes the NAACP is a communist organization.

    July 27, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Denise

    Atta boy, Sessions! Do everything you can to help the GOP obtain the Hispanic vote in 2010 and 2012!

    July 27, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. tim

    So if Sotomayor had gone against the current precedent in the New Haven case and ruled with the white fire firefighters she would be OK, but since she followed and respected the current law she is an activist judge? Sounds as if Session wanted an activist judge in the New Haven case but didn't get it, yet now he claims that is what he doesn't want for the Supreme Court. Can somebody ask him about this paradox? It's clear Sotomayor has more integrity in her pinky than Sessions has in his body.

    July 27, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. alvino

    Sessions, a typical southern senator, has not changed his views of race much over the last 30 years. He was abandoned by the republicans in his nomination, and we see why. What a tulip he is.

    July 27, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. Chris

    This is why we need to put term limits on all our Congressional Reps in Congress. Many of them start to vote not for what is best for People and Country but for themselves.
    I am not surprised that he is not voting for her. The political system in the US is a joke now and while through the years we have always had political party viewpoints that were opposing, they would make sense. However since the days of Newt going forward the political structure in Washington has been in shambles. I think it is time for America to really visit term limits on all elected Officials. As stated above these guys get in office and representing the people is the last thing on their minds. It's all about political posturing!!!

    July 27, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Kaci

    Sessions wore it on his sleave. He had no intention of voting for Sotomayor. He just wanted to be front an center. And John Cornyn from my great state of Texas, well, he was just playing to his conservative base. I wish Rick Noriega would have beaten him during the last election. Rest assured, John Cornyn will not be relected in Texas and plan on doing my part to ensure that. The Repugs who are not voting for her are doing so for political reasons, and to appease their base. There is no basis or rationale for their decision as evidenced by her 17-YEAR RECORD

    July 27, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. Jo

    GOP stop hating this President and do what is right for the American People. You can't have everything you want so get over it and vote to get this Women in power. GOP stinks to the highest, and now it is a fact because Barbie have left the building. Go Sara Go Sara you will not be brought down by a bunch of loser. At leasst Barbie got a clue this time if never before. Ha Ha and see Ya

    July 27, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Glennis

    I fully support Sessions in his decision. I, too have grave reservations about her ability to rule fairly and to avoid applying her personal predjudices to her decisions. As for Sessions being "racist", he's no more racist than Obama who seems to think blacks deserve special treatment.

    July 27, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Dont they have a picture of a trailor on their flag,just under the stars and bars?

    July 27, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. rhoward

    This is not really news. Anyone with half a brain should have been able to figure out Sessions wasn't going to vote for Sotomayor. Now, if he had said he was going to vote for her – THAT would have been news.

    July 27, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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