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. A Voting Female!!

    Well said Senator!! And for all of you raging liberals saying "race" shouldn't be brought into this.. uh.. isn't it Obama and the "main stream" media that keeps bringing up the fact that she's hispanic and has such a "story"?!?

    By the way, who doesn't have a "story", trust me, you don't have be black or hispanic to have come from a less than "ideal" background, and be a successful adult!!

    May 28, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  2. once upon a horse

    sorry but for some reason when I see older white males especially right leaning ones talk about only judging people by merit and not by race or gender not only makes me laugh but in a way creeps me out.

    May 28, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  3. gl, Pittsburgh

    Most test in this country are designed by white people and that is why it is easier for them to pass it. Black culture is not the same as white cutture. I know for a fact the test are best on the knowledge of the white race and most minority don't have the same knowledge whites have becasue of the system is run by whites. Whites will not be able to pass a test written by latin or blacks bottom line. These test need to be written not only by the white race. This happen in my city with Police testing all whites pass it and not one blacks pass.

    I will give you an example of test giving in USA. When my daughter was taken the first grade test one of the question was ask how do you drink your coffee with cup or a cup and sauceer. The right answer was with a cup and a saucer, but not in a black house when they mostly only have a cup in their house. So most blacks get that question wrong. I am just trying to prove my point if these test are created by whites only how can any other race pass their test when they have not clue about the live stlye minority live so the test are base on the live style of the white race.

    May 28, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  4. Ted Tartaglia

    Good going Roberts. You typify the Republican senators. Old, white haired (those who have hair) and whiny. You are all a bunch of losers.

    May 28, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  5. Gary from Madison, WI

    Sen Roberts is one of the few Republicans who can say anything. You certainly won't hear someone from Florida or Texas making the same statements. I'm glad people have already made up their minds without actually vetting her. It seemed to work out fine last time with a certain Alaska governor. Oh wait, nevermind.

    Once again, Sen Roberts is proving he is a proud member of the party of NO. Keep up the good work pandering to the far right, Senator. By 2010, the Dems should have a 75-25 majority in the Senate.

    May 28, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  6. Edward

    I was not pleased when I first heard her comments regarding "the richness of her experience" but not wanting to take the quote being repeated on television over and over out of context I did my own research and found that she was actually addressing the issues of sex and race discrimiations rulings made by the supreme court in it's history and she was trying to say that a supreme court filled with one race and sex (Caucasian males) cannot properly understand all of the different perspectives that these discrimination cases by default are viewed through and therefore having witnessed some of these things first hand she would perhaps see things differently that someone who "hasn't lived that life". She went on to say that there are many who are fair minded but some simply can't understand and some simply don't care to understand. Again this statement was made during a session regarding sex and race discrimination rulings and news programs are making it sound as though she brought up her sex and race just to make a point.

    May 28, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  7. The black spider

    He can afford to say this crap because he is from Kansas.

    May 28, 2009 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  8. David Newport, OR

    Is this the Senator from the state that it is illegal to teach evolution in their public school systems?

    May 28, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  9. Action

    Way to be deliberative Senator.....the integrity of a mongoose...

    May 28, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  10. arnolde

    This really can be expressed very simply: Republicans believe that when their President has the choice, the Supreme Court nominee should be a Conservative, and when a Democratic President has the choice, the nominee should also be a Conservative. Weird!

    May 28, 2009 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  11. The black spider

    Tell me again racism does not exist in america.
    Every time a non white is nominated for a post. All the media cares about to comment on is the race and political implications.
    Will this ever stop. What is wrong with the media in this country?
    When it's white it's normal but when it's other races it's
    The first African American
    The first Chineese
    The first Latino
    The first Native American and ther goes the blah blah blah again.
    I never heard the First White in nothing.

    May 28, 2009 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  12. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Just another stick up his - stubborn Republican!

    May 28, 2009 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  13. Alan in Marietta

    While I respect his right to vote for whom he thinks is the best qualified, I cannot help but think that he is pre-judging Judge Sotomayor. As a member of the "jury," he has an obligation to hear her case, give her her day in court? He may have thought she was "inappropriate" when he voted against her previously. And what the hell does inappropriate mean. That's a loaded word. Kinda like the old, not the right fit language of corporate america when the company doesn't want to hire someone because of some difference.

    Announcing that he plans to vote against her without the benefit of a hearing brings into question his true motives for rejecting her then and now. His web site actually translates in Spanish, but I wonder if the Hispanic voters in Kansas understand that he has decided that she doesn't deserve the chance to be heard. What message is he sending? Prejudge a person? Don't ask any questions? Make up your mind without hearing a person's case? I would hate to be Hispanic living in Kansas.

    Midwestern values just ran into a ditch.

    May 28, 2009 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  14. Peter (CA)


    How does this show courage? He doesn't like her, never did, and continues to be in the minority saying no.

    We don't need to spout hate. Your side has done a very good job on here.

    May 28, 2009 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  15. Lisa S - St. Louis MO

    Look at the source...the state where they wanted creation theory taught in schools...disgusting.

    Can Kansas secede with Texas??

    May 28, 2009 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  16. Clean your glasses

    gl pittsburgh –
    I am neither old, nor a man and I oppose the terrible decision to support this blatant racist who has stated she makes decisions based on opinion and not law. Why is it ok to be racist as long as it is against whites? You are way off base on this one, bud! Obama constantly panders, too bad he has no independent choices. Where is the change you can believe in? Spending trillions of dollars to create a few "temporary" jobs?? Clean off your glasses and read everything thoroughly before you make statements with nothing to back it up.

    May 28, 2009 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  17. Proud American

    These republican would oppose God, if they thought he was a democrat.

    May 28, 2009 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  18. arnie

    You have that right and that is your choice! We can respect that however please save it for the hearing. This is so inappropriate to be discussing in the media. We all need to let the Senate do its job. He who without sin, let him cast the first stone!

    May 28, 2009 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  19. Chtei

    This man is obviously lacking basic reasoning skills! Please look at his record in the senate regarding Iraqi Intelligence, the PATRIOT ACT and his encouragement of torture during the Bush Administration! It seems like he does not support Sotomayor because she will uphold the law with her deep knowledge instead of make a mockery of the Constitution, like he himself did!

    May 28, 2009 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  20. Slash

    The party of obstruction continues its descent into irrelevancy. Now they're making decisions before hearings while continuing their pathetic hatemongering.

    I am very happy that I jumped the GOP ship when I did.

    May 28, 2009 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  21. Tatianna

    President Bush is no longer in office, so get over it. Reps party of NO? lol Majority of dems told Obama NO funds for Gitmo. Jesus was not political, yet libs/dems will claim he was liberal and use this to push forth their social programs. I think not paying taxes and scheming to get more out of Americans is a requirement to be a dem. Dems chastized reps for rubberstamping Bush and here we have outraged and unhinged dems when reps oppose Sotomayor and Obama. Since when have We The People voted on an appointment to the SC? We elect Senators to represent us. How do you know Roberts isnt doing the will of his constituency by opposing Sotomayor. When seeking office, the aspirant must pretend to be what he is not. After seizing power, he should impose his agenda quickly and ruthlessly before his subjects realize what he is doing and have time to react. Sound familiar? Those who wonder at the spef with which Obama, aided and abetted by the congressional dems, is moving away from traditional American ways need only read The Prince, written by Niccolo Machiavelli.

    May 28, 2009 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  22. joe magaratz

    He's from KS. That says it all. He is in step with the "wizard of oxycontin" and "the grinch."

    May 28, 2009 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  23. joe magaratz

    He's from KS. That says it all. He is in league with the "wizard of oxycontin" and the "pudgy grinch."

    May 28, 2009 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  24. jason, tx

    I love how the Republicans pull this crap BEFORE the hearings. wonderful for them. keep looking stupid Republicans, it helps those who wish for freedom in this country!

    May 29, 2009 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  25. jesse

    God, wake up he was there when she got confirmed for the appeals court and just said that what she said was not worthy of being a supreme court justice. He did not say it was about race, gender or record but what she has said. It should be brought up about her remarks and her vote on the gun rights and the fireman.

    May 29, 2009 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
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