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. The losers

    The Republican's are getting very tired, redundant and irrelevant. Who cares?

    May 28, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  2. JT

    I can't believe the racist remarks here. This is just one major reason why the GOP's support has dipped below 20% of Americans. People are repulsed by the ridiculous hate of the Republicans.

    May 28, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  3. Seattle Sue

    Wat a surprise, a Republican that won't vote for her.

    May 28, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  4. Sotomayor is brilliant

    So now they'll lose the Hispanic and more of the women vote. The party of no will not have many people to invite to their next tea party. Ha, ha, ha!

    May 28, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  5. IndependantFan

    Independant, thanks for keeping the dream of objectivity alive.

    May 28, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  6. Kim, Dallas, TX

    And the Republican NO machine starts it's engine.

    May 28, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  7. Pete

    Well, now that Kansas has spoken there goes the rest of the country... does anybody else care what this old guy thinks? Brilliant choice! GO SONIA!!!

    May 28, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  8. Simmy

    NO, NO, NO.....Whatever it is, the answer is NO.....I'm a Republican spam it, you should know that by NOw.........

    May 28, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  9. Alex in Wisconsin

    Well at least he came to this decision after a thorough examination of her record without taking bits and pieces out of context. I have to respect Republicans that come to a dissenting decision based on the full information and not just based on Rush Limbaugh's rant of the day.

    May 28, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  10. GuyInVA

    You're right Senator. A lot of people do "have that." Clarence Thomas for instance. Didn't know about that? Watch the news. Oh right. Minorities overcoming the odds to achieve success isn't news when they are conservative.

    May 28, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  11. RepubliKLAN party pooper

    Pat Roberts is a closed-minded bigot. He didn't even give her a chance to make her case at the confirmation hearings. He gave no coherent, rational reason for opposing her. Sotomayor is a legal scholar! I guess all he cares about is keeping Rush happy.

    May 28, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  12. kd

    1988?!? This guy has been in the Senate far too long. Time to get rid of him, Kansas.

    May 28, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  13. phoenix86

    Sory for my prevoius comment. My mind is not working well without medication, and I forget to take them today. Sory one more time. Thanks!

    May 28, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  14. No Incumbents 2010

    I guess I will have to change my name on this comment page. There seems to be an imposter who has idiotic liberal views.

    May 28, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  15. David

    Racism is well and alive in this country.These hypocrits who carry the bible on sundays but carry daggers of hatred in their hearts.This is the stuff that Republicans are made of otherwise why is it that they are
    prevelent in the so called bible belt.These are the Pharisees of the bible.No wonder Jesus could not stand them.By their fruits,ye shall know them.Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.No
    wonger Jesus cursed them "Woe unto you Pharisees and Republicans or Publicans" Are they not the same thing?

    May 28, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  16. Paul Robeson

    Kile Anderson (and the rest of you),

    I strongly urge you to read her ENTIRE 2001 speech and look at the WHOLE qoute. It amazes me how Conservatives will pull a few lines from an entire speech and attempt (poorly I might add) to paint a person as a racist. Amazing.

    To add, I guess you feel your buddies Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, and Limbo are covering the story by cherry picking pieces from her speech. Sounds like the same old Rev. Wright 'hatemonger sermon' approach. Wow.

    In 2009 the straw man will NOT WORK...we are too smart.

    May 28, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  17. Tatianna

    I am sick and tired of dems playing victims due to race, gender and sexual preference. Then we have the liberal hypocrisy – Do As I Say, Not As I Do! I clearly remember these same people treating Palin as a sub-human. So please do tell how Sotomayor is being treated that upsets you? Perhaps Sotomayor shouldve considered her words before squeezing them out her cheeks. If she didnt mean what she said, then why did she say it. Isnt dems mantra – words have meanings? Those are her words she owns it. And please enlighten me on what did I lose? Didnt Obama say he will be president to all people? Or did his statement come with an expiration date. Oh, didnt Obama support and vote for Cheneys Energy bill? Wouldnt barring Senator Roberts from the confirmation hearing be unconstitutional, I thought dems/libs are constitutionalists? A gag order for Roberts? How about a gag order for all dem/lib politicians accusing Bush administration committed war crimes. IN THE WORLD OF THE DEMS/LIBS, ITS FREE SPEECH FOR ME, BUT NONE FOR THEE !

    May 28, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  18. Joe Terrogano

    And the significance of this is? A dull thud in the night!

    May 28, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  19. Nini

    Good for him.

    I am glad that there are still some republicans out there that are committed to our constitution and our American values.

    Law must be blind and judges should make decisions based on the constitution and not EMPATHY and out of compassion.

    May 28, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. Kevin

    Isn't there one single Liberal out there who can carry on a debate? Virtually every single post is from some over emotional, ranting, on the edge looney, who's thought process begins and ends with slamming the GOP. The conservatives have asked legitimate questions, not one of which, that I've seen, has been answered.

    May 28, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  21. Tony

    Wow. A republican saying "NO." I'm SHOCKED. I NEVER thought that would happen. I'll be even more shocked when a republican actually says "YES." I think I'll be dead before that happens.

    May 28, 2009 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  22. Nola

    Senator Roberts firmly believes that a woman's place is in the home
    and should only make a statement when a man ask her a question. This man is afraid of a smart woman.

    May 28, 2009 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  23. Judy

    This is crazy. For any minority to be nominated for any high office they are automatically exception people ( of any color!). The only time they are not is when the Republicans do the nominating - enter Clarence Thomas. Let's compare her credentials to his when he was her age. Clarence was a token appointment if there ever was one. He was appointed simiply to say see the only black I could find was this unqualified person!!!!

    May 28, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  24. Hopeful Optimist

    I am sixty-one years old and about as WASP and middle class as you can get. People take one look at me and instantly draw the conclusion that I am a Republican. I realize that my time in the sun has come and gone, and I can live with that. However, Republican I am not; and their way of thinking I have never agreed with. Not fiscally, not socially, not in any way. This old codger from Kansas, Senator Roberts, needs to accept the fact that he and his type are on the way out, dinosaurs, history. America's best days are still ahead of it, and anyone who cannot see that is blind.

    May 28, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  25. Kansas Kurt

    That's fine, Pat. You have your choice. But since you have no regard for your constituency, I have the choice to take my business and move across the state line to Missouri! At least I will see something for my taxes!

    May 28, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
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