May 28th, 2009
07:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Kansas senator to oppose Sotomayor

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Roberts said Thursday he will vote against Sotomayor."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, said Thursday he does not plan to vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, becoming the first Republican to explicitly state his opposition to President Obama's pick for the high court.

"With all due respect to the nominee and nothing personal, I do not plan to vote for her," Roberts told talk radio host Christ Stigall on Kansas station KCMO.

Roberts also noted he was one of the 28 Senate Republicans in 1998 who voted against confirming Sotomayor to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Sotomayor was ultimately confirmed to that court by a 68-28 vote.

"I did not feel she was appropriate on the appeals court," Roberts said of his 1998 vote. "Since that time, she has made statements on the role of the appeals court I think is improper and incorrect."

"I think that we should be judging people not on race and gender, or background or ethnicity or a very compelling story," Roberts continued. "There are a lot of people who have that."

Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. Hawaii gal

    Way to go Senator, make up your mind before the confirmation hearings. What a great way to keep an open mind. I am sure this will really help you the next time you are up for re-election – NOT! It is amazing to me just how low the GOP can go.

    May 28, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. pete

    He showed a great deal of restraint by waiting 24 hours after her nomination before announcing he won't even CONSIDER voting for her. Why not just 'say no' before the nomination?

    May 28, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  3. Daniel, Atlanta, GA, ex-republican

    PLEASE....CNN..tell us something new. When could we expect a Republican to say "yes" when the are the party of "NO?"

    May 28, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  4. Retired US Army Officer - Kansas

    Senator Pat Roberts is a true hang over of a era best left behind. He has made up his mind before hearings before debate and before her nomination has come up for the vote. As Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee he failed to provide any type of oversight to the intellgence committee. He is an extreme example of the party of no, no reason, no thought, no way.

    May 28, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  5. ThinkAboutIt

    Well, since he's already made up his mind, I think he should be barred from the confirmation hearings and issued a gag order so he can no longer talk about it.

    Kansas should vote Roberts out – he sounds like a stick-in-the-mud, Class A jerk!

    May 28, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  6. VICTIM of "Obama Victim"

    oh gee...... what – a – sur- prise......

    May 28, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  7. Mari( maybe one of my comments will be posted)

    Why not? I am willing to bet good money that ALL the GOPers in Congress will vote against Judge Sotomayor.

    What else is new?

    What is disturbing is not that they will vote against her, but the demonizing the GOP is doing of Judge Sotomayor!

    I hope every Latino voter will remember how the GOP treated a woman whose success makes us all proud!

    May 28, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  8. Wolves 4 Palin Charlotte, NC

    He is truly not worth a comment.

    May 28, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. Carl Justus

    I suppose Roberts thinks that it was fine for Cheney to invite Scalia on a hunting trip just days before Scalia was to vote on a lawsuit against Cheney concerning the energy meetings Cheney had with the largest energy companies in America and Scalia did not refuse to vote. In fact he said the outing on Cheney's dime was not a conflict of interest and he would exercise his right to vote on the suit and he did in favor of Cheney.

    That is fine but some rhetoric taken out of context is enough for Roberts to say even before he ask a question is vilify her

    May 28, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  10. Keith in Austin

    Stand strong and unified GOP! Sottomayor is a liberal activist and the American People need to know about via tough questioning during the confirmation process.

    May 28, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  11. JT

    Here goes another angry white man.

    May 28, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  12. Roger from CA

    Seems a bit premature, since the hearings haven't even taken place. Must be angling for an invite onto Rush Limbaugh's show...

    May 28, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  13. John S

    Like your vote counts anyway. Hahahahahaha. The GOP is a dying breed. In 2010 they will be lucky if they even win a total of 10 seats. Man, I have seen stupidity by some in my lifetime, but these crackpots take the cake. She will be confirmed with or without your vote, and theres isn't one dang thing the Republicans can do about it. And you can take that to the bank.

    May 28, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. JON

    not statements ,,,, 1 in 30 years again lets put that number up there one more time 1 ....1.....1.....1.....1....and 1 only if this is all you have why didn't you try to get Bush out of Office ,,oh that's right he made statements that know one could understand.

    May 28, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  15. Bill ~ Down on the Bayou

    with a little luck and some hard work it is possible that Senator Roberts con convince people with some modicum of education that this woman is dangerous, and she has been nominated simply because she like obama are Anti-Constitution. They are out to remake this nation in their own image.

    May 28, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  16. cbc

    oh, great – another old, white male doing his grumpy best to represent the GOP, spewing forth the nonsense we hear all day on talk radio. This party is so dead...

    May 28, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  17. Outraged Hispanic American

    Its Time for you to retire Pat Roberts – Most of your Republican colleagues who I hold in high regard are not afraid of Sotomayor's appointment.
    Like it of not – Hispanics are demanding equal justice under the law.
    Sotomayor is more that qualified and has a wealth of experience that no Justice currently on the court had at the time of their appointment.
    I don't want to contemplate the consequences of her not being confirmed as I certainly believe it will be the headstone on the Republican party.

    May 28, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  18. Jimmy the Greek

    Que up the liberal hate machine and begin spewing in 3....2...1....

    May 28, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  19. John-Black Hills/SD

    I'll bet that Kansas Senator CowPatty Roberts has said a few words that didn't represent who he thinks he is. If this one sentence that Sotomayer blurted out is all the republican failures can come up with, maybe it's time for them to leave their senate seats for better, smarter representatives. Seventy percent of America will be watching the republicans, and if their amateur behavior continues, they'll fall below their all time low. How many speeches has GWbush given since he oozed out of office. ZERO.......Consider your words before you squeeze them out of your cheeks.

    May 28, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  20. Fitz in Texas

    Well, thank goodness, someone(Republican) up there finally has the @*^^# to stand up against Obama's Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Now you other Republicans need to grow a pair and do the same. No doubt Ms. Sotomayor will be appointed, but at least do your job and make your voice heard. The insults will flow from the Liberals/Democrats, but who cares.

    May 28, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  21. RH

    I agree completely. Maybe it would be inefficient, but some way ought to be found to select justices and judges based solely on their writings and judgments, with any personally-, ethnically-, and religiously-identifying information stricken from the entire selection process.

    If a white, male American of English descent were so vocal and 'proud' about his ethnicity, overly using it as a political tool in the way many minority candidates for various positions do these days, he'd be drummed out of politics as an evil racist.

    May 28, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  22. Tanaris Un'Goro

    Isn't Kansas the state where it is illegal for two teens to have consensual sex? I would suspected Robert's opinion is race based.

    May 28, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  23. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    racest red neck comes to mind
    cheap reason for not voting for her.

    May 28, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  24. Keeth in California

    There are as yet undiscovered tribes in the heart of the Peruvian jungle who knew that a Republican senator from Kansas would vote against Sotomayor.

    May 28, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  25. John

    You GOP guys even opposed Obama as a President.

    What happened? Nothing. You GOP Lost. You GOP wasted your time and energy.

    Now You GOP want to oppose Sotomayor. For Nothing. You GOP will Lose again. You GOP will waste your time and energy again.

    You GOP will never learn.

    That is why You guys are Know as GOP.

    G===========Good for Nothing.

    May 28, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
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