May 26th, 2009
05:19 PM ET
14 years ago

Toomey: Sotomayor 'deserves a fair hearing'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former GOP Rep. Pat Toomey, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter for his Senate seat in 2010, came to Judge Sonia Sotomayor's defense on Tuesday, saying the Supreme Court nominee deserves a fair chance.

Toomey, a conservative, said he believed that Democrats had a "knee-jerk opposition" to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito during their confirmation hearings, but that Republicans shouldn't oppose Sotomayor's nomination simply based on partisanship.

"Just as it was wrong for liberal Democrats to adopt a knee-jerk opposition to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito, it would be equally wrong for Republicans to oppose Judge Sotomayor on a partisan basis," Toomey said in a statement. "Judge Sotomayor deserves a fair hearing. If that hearing proves her to be of sound judicial temperament with the requisite knowledge of and respect for the Constitution, then she should be confirmed."

Toomey said over the past two decades, the process of confirming Supreme Court justices has become a "political football," and criticized Specter for his role during that era.

"Arlen Specter has played those political games more aggressively than most, arguing against Judge Bork and for Justice Thomas, depending on Specter's calculation of his own political needs," Toomey said. "That approach is bad for our country."

Filed under: Pat Toomey • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. The Broker.

    Conflict! Conflict! Conflict!... Tearing America apart..

    May 26, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. Joanna

    Toomy give up, you will never get PA vote!

    May 26, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. Sick of Dirty Obama

    sotomayor = quota

    May 26, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. lovable liberal

    Toomey: Give her a fair hearing, and then hang her nomination.

    May 26, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. mike l

    Toomey said something that finally makes sense. Of course, he's bucking for Specter's seat and has to come across as somewhat intelligent.

    May 26, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. John S

    Toomey said. "That approach is bad for our country."

    No Toomey. Re[ublicans are bad for the country. Look at the mess your party has left the country in. How much more destruction should Americans take before some realize what the GOP stand for.

    May 26, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. Steve

    Was it knee-jerk when the Dems filibustered Miguel Estrada during Bush Sr.'s presidency?

    May 26, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. Peter (CA)

    Good for Toomey. It has been an ugly affair since Reagan tried to shove Bork onto the court.
    But, I disagree on one point. Although opposition to Roberts may have been somewhat knee-jerk, the opposition to Alito was well warranted.

    May 26, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  9. Ennis, LA

    It's troubling that, like the Eric Holder appointment, Obama chose to
    play the race card with this nominee. Sad that he refused to nominate
    a unifier, but a bean counter instead.

    May 26, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  10. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    What an insult and a slap in the face to the American justice system, nominating this woman to ANY court….much less the supreme court.

    May 26, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  11. malclave

    Sotomayor will not get a fair hearing. She'll get softballled because to treat her the same as a white male would be seen as racism and sexism.

    May 26, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Limbaugh is fat racist, too

    May 26, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. Barry in Maryland

    Toomey has apparently not conferred with Limbaugh yet.

    May 26, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  14. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Don't count on a "Borking" by Specter. A newly Democratic Jew attacking a Second Circuit Latina would be so unseemly in this Brave New PC World.

    May 26, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  15. Charlie in Maine

    And for a good idea of what he means by fair tune in to Faux News.

    May 26, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |