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. Michael

    The good-ole Southern boys are at it again. Same ole song & dance to hide their racism and hate.

    July 27, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Florida Joe

    WOW what news that this Racist would not vote for her......The Repubs had to delay a week for him to come up with this........He was against her before the hearings started.......Racism is the reason he could not get approved as a judge...........Let's hope the voters wake up and remove this guy from the Senate................

    July 27, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. Michael

    Political speak the man is from the great "white" south and he cannot support her as a Supreme Court judge.

    July 27, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Neither old Southern white men, or Catholics, or Mormans, or Taliban can support a woman for any position that doesn't involve working in the home where they belong....

    July 27, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Sooooo, we'd expect something different from someone who called the NAACP and the ACLU "Communist inspired"? This guy's a real winner. Go go grand dragon Sessions...

    July 27, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Juliana L'Heureux

    I am very disappointed in the lackluster whining of the Republican senators' response to Judge Sotomayor. Senators Sessions and Hatch show no respect for diversity in their defensive comments. Rather, Senator Sessions, particuarly, shows an unflattering Southern ethnic bias in his statement about withholding support for Judge Sotomayor. On the other hand, Senator Olympia's Snowe's enlighted response is thoughtful: "I was impressed with Judge Sotomayor’s comportment and obvious mastery of the law during this week’s nomination hearings. Her presentation reinforced what I learned about her during our meeting in June at which we discussed her judicial philosophy and view of constitutional interpretation -..."

    July 27, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. For You, For the US

    I can't say that I am too surprised that Jeff Sessions is not going to support her, and I am certainly not surprised my silly senator John Cornyn isn't either. But I am a tiny tiny bit surprised that Lindsey Graham is. She will be confirmed, they only thing from keeping that is that today is Monday and not Tuesday. And even though the democratic caucus can vote her in with no GOP support, it would still be good to get as many votes as possible from her. Still, not surprised with Sessions, Cornyn, or McConnell for that matter. That's ok. They unknowingly constantly push away minorities from their party.

    July 27, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Laverne

    Another GOPer who is a follower and can't make a decision for himself. Look, at this point it does not really matter. The GOP has made it loud and clear they intend to go against any and everything that involves President Obama, the hell with the American people. I must say, nothing absolutely nothing has changed with the GOP. They are bunch of miserable, old white men who are only interested in bringing the White House down even if it means taking the American people down too.

    July 27, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. Laverne

    I wonder if Sotomayor was white with the same views, would Sessions and Hatch vote for her. I really wonder if the outcome would be different!

    July 27, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. B

    Jeff Sessions is a known biggot, just look at his history.

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

    What's messed up is that the idiots in this blog who are applauding Mr. Sessions have conveniently forgotten that a REPUBLICAN president gave her the first job she had as a judge to begin with, what has changed that makes her suddenly unworthy to be a judge now? She was good enough back then, why the sudden change? Explain your reasoning haters.

    July 27, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. steve

    CNN you lost any credibility for not firing Lou Dobbs who have been reported to be a son of an inbreeding between a sister and her brother.
    we assume he is a citizen and would want to see his Birth Certificate to clear every doubt about where the parent lived when he was born and while they have the same last name prior to their marriage.
    This is now all over the internet , and would like to see Lou Dobbs clear this on air since he is known for his" opinions" on matters

    July 27, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Carol

    I applaud those who vote to not approve this candidate.
    She is CLEARLY trying to make a statement as " A HISPANIC FEMALE" not a non-biased Supreme Court Judge. The Supreme Court is a final destination for many pleas and we should be able to be CONFIDENT that our plea will be Judged FAIRLY based on rule of Law – not a BIASED opinion based on a hispanic/female's twist of judgement. A rational individual would not make the outrageous comments sotomayer has been making in regard to her past decisions ( ie; the New Haven Firefighters) .

    July 27, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Sick -n- Tired

    And the "dumbing down" of America continues all in the name of political correctness!

    July 27, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Commodore

    I feel sorry for Alabama. Is this really what best represents your state?

    Swinging mighty low Alabama.

    July 27, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. Big Al C.

    Party of NO. Unless they have an election coming up. Sessions is another bozo puppet who does what he is told. Wall St. & Big Oil CEO's sign his check. Like so many others of his moral brothers from C Street.

    July 27, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. TCM

    Gee, I wonder what Leahy's getting out of this...I wonder what OBama's promised him...he's like a dog running around humping anything that moves when he's around Sotomayor. Reeks of corruption.

    July 27, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. Toy Gunn

    So two reasons he is not voting for her is based on two decisions where if she ruled how Sessions wanted her to rule, it would have been legislating from the bench/judicial activism. This is also something Sessions has claimed he is against in the past.

    I also wonder why Sessions is so offended by the concept that a hispanic woman might, just might, come to a better decision than a white male. I mean the remark made by Sotomayer was a bit "stupid" one to make the way it was phrased and deserves criticism; but Session sseems a bit too offended.

    July 27, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. R in Maine

    So you find three decisions troubling. I find it troubling that you were unable to get even a significant majority. It seems that you will be able to find maybe five halfwits in your party to vote against her. That is more than you were able to find to vote for you. You are truly lame, and totally insignificant. It is truly troubling that you could such a racist and still be permitted to vote on the next justice. The only good new is that she will be there much longer that you will. What an embarrassment he is to his state and his country.

    July 27, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. Commodore

    John Cornyn's vote in no way represents all of Texas he bowed to the NRA. He gambled that the special interest group will help him keep his office.....we'll soon find out.

    July 27, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Will

    So her three decisions cited above went against the Constitution and therefore she is not worthy of sitting on the Supreme Court? Does this therefore apply to all Supreme Court Justices who dissent on any decision made by the Court? According to Sessions, a dissenting Justice would also be against the Constitution.

    July 27, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. Will-South Dakota

    Gee what a suprise! The GOP has not time for Hispanics, Asians to step up and serve on the Supreme Court....says ALOT about the GOP RNC, NO NO NO NO.

    July 27, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. Michael K, Baltimore MD

    It is my understanding that deciding differently on those three cases could have labeled her a judicial activist. Has the GOP changed one of their principled positions again?

    BTW – I believe Sessions may be the one district appointee never approved. He has some distinction similar to that.

    July 27, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. IndyVoter

    Good! Yes. That's it! Keep on alienating yourself from the rest of the 80% of the country that doesn't think that only old, white Christian men (or occasional token woman) that agree with you are the only people in this country capable of holding high office with integrity and distinction. You're making this soooooooo easy.

    July 27, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. Joe

    The NRA has already threatened to withdraw support from anyone who votes for Sotomayor. Very telling that Sessions cites a decision on gun rights from earlier this year.

    July 27, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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