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. Independent

    I don't think she would be a disaster, but all the reasons given for her are superficial. Who cares what race she is or if she came from a poor background. Those things have nothing to do with honoring the constitution. Obama needs to press for her on her legal qualifications alone. It looks like affirmative action when he take the politically correct route. As if she otherwise wouldn't be qualified.

    May 28, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  2. ancient river

    Knee jerk reaction when he knows very lttle about her. Why have hearings? Why even have elections? We will all take our orders from Limbaugh who barely completed two semesters of college and flunked most of his courses. Way to go, GOP! You will soon become extinct as the Libertarians take your place.

    May 28, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  3. Enough

    I am glad GOP is the party of NO. Someone has to challenge the bad decisions being made. The Liberals here seem to have selective memory or are too young to remember when the Dems were the party of NO. Remember Clarence Thomas or Alberto Gonzalez?? With the Dems completely in control there are NO checks and balances. Does anyone really want that?

    May 28, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  4. No Incumbents 2010

    Yes, by all means. Listen to all idiots. Don't base your vote on how qualified you think she is, or her views on what she feels is the role of a supreme court judge. My gosh, how can we even be going through a vetting process? She is female, hispanic and chosen by Obama is there any need to qualify her?

    May 28, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  5. HENRY

    Roberts he decided this issue without hearing what she has to say. Very closed minded man. But we knew that. How do the good people of Kansas elected a man like this?

    May 28, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  6. The Party of NO is dead

    Well, at least the Republicans are consistent – NO, NO, NO on everything good and progressive for America!

    I have never seen a stupider group of old men. They don't even know what battles to fight – they just oppose everything and with no reasons that ever make any logical sense. The Party of NO, HATE, and FEAR is destroying itself day by day.

    Sotomayor will be confirmed as she should be. She is more than qualified. George Bush first put her on the Federal Court with great support from Republicans. Now suddenly because Obama chose her, she is suddenly no longer qualified???

    Goodbye GOP – American no longer trusts you and believes you are capable of leading anything. Your Party is lost in the wilderness of cluelessness and come 2010 you will lose all your seats up for reelection.

    May 28, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  7. JR

    Ahh don't you love it! The GOP in rare form. Just give me an ole McCain gaffe or a Pailin/Couric interview any day. Please keep em around a while I need the laugh.

    May 28, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  8. c

    forget politics, sotomayor's remarks are racist.

    May 28, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  9. Ruty

    Have you notice almost all politicians opposing Sotomayor are rich, old white men. What are they afraid of?

    May 28, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  10. Had It

    This senator needs to read statements made by some of the white men on the supreme court. THEY HAVE SAID EXACTLY THE SAME THINGS SHE SAID.

    And -- GHW Bush described the black judge as having great empathy.

    This senator is spouting Limbaugh's talking points and not doing any research on his own. Maybe he needs to learn how to GOOGLE.

    May 28, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  11. Ask not what big business can do for you but what can you do for big business

    Is Sotomayer one of those open up the southern border so greedy business owners can hire illegals kind of person? if so she should not be confirmed.

    May 28, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  12. L Lynch

    What's the difference between the KKK and the GOP? The Klan doesn't use a token African American as their spokesman!

    May 28, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  13. c

    all white males regardless (Dem or Rep) should be offended by her racist comments.

    May 28, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  14. arona

    GOP opinion = Dead, buried and (what's worse) FORGOTTEN...
    Stop using the guns and jesus crutch to stop paying your ill-begotten taxes...Jesus aint a capitalist or a communist or a socialist – he was a humanitarian who wasn't afraid of rising up to the political/religious big shots, to help the poor and the needy.

    May 28, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  15. Jeff W.

    Wow, what a surprise, a Republican opposes Obama's choice. This would only be new if the headline was, "A Republican supports one of Obama's decisions." Thankfully Sotomayor will easily make it through without the usual idiotic Republican opposition. This coming from a party that allowed Clarence Thomas, a man who repeatedly sexually harassed Anita Hill to be seated. The Republicans seem more vile to me every day. I'm so happy the Democrats are finally in control of things, I sleep better at night.

    May 28, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  16. trevor weir

    Robertson is just another republican who is entirely out of touch. I bet he voted lock step with Bush Cheney on the mis guided war. Change him like a baby diaper. His views

    May 28, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  17. The Party of NO is only “pro-life” so they will be able to kill the “babies” 18 years later as soldiers in an elective religious war.

    Of course, he will oppose the nominee, there is an (R) associated with whatever his name may be.

    It is a given he will follow the Party of NO's agenda for "America to fail" at all cost.

    The Middle East has al Queda trying to get to us from the outside and we have the rabid right "christian" Taliban led by the fat, bald messiah and the limbaugh lemmings, attacking us from within!

    May 28, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. Traci

    Good, I will be emailing my Senator to to not vote for her either. Liberals are destroying this country from the inside out. We need conservatives in the Supreme Court to fight to keep this county from imploding.

    May 28, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  19. Mike Huckins-Albuquerque

    Who do these politicians think they are? They have been duly elected and are to represent the constituency of there area. Where does Roberts or any of the rest of them get off and flat out opposing anyone without the approval of the people that put them their in the first place.

    I've been an eligible voter for 34 years now and never set foot in side a voting booth because of tactics like this. It doesn't matter who gets selected, the Republicans are going to disagree and this is wrong.

    Whare are you people? Puppets?

    May 28, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  20. Independent thinker

    You lib dems still haven't figured out the fact a lot of people don't and won't agree with your liberal agenda, have you? As for being the 'party of tolerance and acceptance', you sure show a marked lack of tolerance and acceptance for anyone who dares object or obstruct your agenda. Almost anything is more bearable than your hypocrisy.

    May 28, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  21. D. Williams, Esq.

    Sotomayor lacks the JUDICIAL TEMPERAMENT necessary to sit on the Supreme Court. End of story. Everyone who has worked with her or argued before her already know this. It will become exceedingly apparent to everyone else, too, as the confirmation process goes forward.

    May 28, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  22. Scott

    Thanks for printing this story. I'd like to know the names and states of the other faceless GOP wackos that think like Sen. Pat Roberts. Thanks for being you senator.

    May 28, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  23. lived9lives

    Geez, I'm surprised the Republicans can even remember her name. They appear to be totally focused on political campaigns 17 months from now rather than fulfilling their constitutional obligations as elected officials. However, it appears after 5 months they may start READING something like her court rulings instead of reading the proposed budget, reading the TARP guidelines, reading.... you know the things elected officials are supposed to do.

    May 28, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  24. JohnS


    The freefall of the GOP continues...

    Someone should remind that the elections are over...
    They should start preparing for the next, otherwise they will be completely irrelevant.

    Don't care about Hispanics?

    May 28, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  25. Kile Anderson

    I don't understand you liberals. Why would a conservative republican EVER vote for this woman? She is obviously a racist. She is obviously pro-affirmative action (racism?) and she is obviously anti-second amendment. She once ruled that states are not bound by the second amendment and therefore could infringe on citizens rights by outlawing or restricting access to fire arms. I'd be curious to learn if she things states are also not bound by the 1st amendment, and if she felt they were how would she reconcile her two seemingly polar opposite positions on the 1st and 2nd amendments. Does she believe that she can pick and choose which parts of the Constitution she will uphold? She seems completely unqualified for the court to me.

    May 28, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
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