June 2nd, 2009
04:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Sotomayor ‘could Bork herself,' conservative Hispanic says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/02/art.miranda0602.cnn.jpg caption="Making a reference to the failed Supreme Court nomination of Judge Robert Bork, Manuel Miranda said Tuesday that Judge Sonia Sotomayor could Bork herself during her upcoming confirmation hearings."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor could be her own worst enemy in her Senate confirmation hearings if her reputation for being tough on lawyers from the bench is to be believed, a conservative Hispanic said Tuesday.

"She could Bork herself," said Manuel Miranda, the chairman of the conservative group the Third Branch Conference. "It's very possible."

"Think about it: Sam Alito, soft spoken; John Roberts, affable and soft spoken; Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg . . . all of them soft spoken. This nominee's more like Judge Bork. She has a temper. She has an attitude. She could come across as hubristic in the hearings – as arrogant."

Miranda's comments came on the same day that his organization requested that the Republican leadership in the Senate mount a filibuster of Sotomayor's confirmation vote in order to allow sufficient time for conservative judicial philosophies to get a public airing during confirmation process.

Read: The Third Branch Conference's letter to Senate Republicans

"We call on you instead to display leadership, if the nominee merits it, in preparing for the use of the traditional filibuster, not intended to obstruct, together with moderate
Democrats, so that the debate on the Senate floor is appropriately long and, therefore, suitably catalyzed to the American people," says Third Branch's letter to Senate Republicans.

The letter is "an attempt to speak for the conservative movement – as best one can," Miranda said Tuesday.

Miranda, who like Sotomayor is Hispanic and grew up in New York City, also said he thought the judge's oft-emphasized status as a Latina is being used to try to intimidate conservatives into not opposing her nomination.

"We're not putting a lot of focus on the fact that she is a Latina woman. It would be better if she were a Latina woman that didn't say the kind of things she's said and didn't write the kind of things she writes. That's not the issue."

"We make a mistake if we do not come to grips, acknowledge, recognize, and then move on the issue of the great life story, the inspiring life story," Miranda added about Sotomayor's rise from working class roots. "It is an inspiring life story, it is a great aspect of national pride."

In order to avoid possibly alienating Hispanics while opposing Sotomayor, Miranda suggested that Republicans should focus their criticism on the substantive aspects of Sotomayor's nomination.

Republicans need to put "substance into the void," Miranda said. "A vote against this nominee without substance is going to be problematic. We have to explain our vote."

Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Hayden Zeke

    Some people just throw crap against the wall and see if it sticks. Sotomayor will be confirmed. She will not Bork herself, which sounds very painful.

    June 2, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. BMS in NC

    Re: the ludicrous assertion that all Supreme Court justices are and should be "soft spoken"

    two words: Antonin Scalia

    June 2, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Frozone

    Someone should tell the self-hating Miranda that with 60 Democrat senators, it's downright inpossible for Sotomayor to "Bork" herself. She's got this one in the bag.

    June 2, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. baloneybuster

    The conservative Hispanics are upset?
    Both of them?

    June 2, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The President promised change. Well Mr. Miranda, Judge Sotomayor's nomination is CHANGE. I don't care if the rest of the justices are soft spoken. If she isn't, that's more reason why I want her on the Supreme Court. She would add a divrsity that has been missing from the bench. She can challenge your conservative justices points of view. As far as arrogance goes, I wouldn't go that far to call it that. A woman with her professiional background can come off kind of shrewd because she knows what she's talking about.

    June 2, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. Jeff Brown

    But she isn't a loose cannon/nut job like Bob Bork!

    June 2, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Do we really have to discredit this guy or will you do it yourself CNN?

    "Early in the George W. Bush Presidency, Miranda came to public notice as a fiercely partisan aide to the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He moved to the staff of Bill Frist, who was Senate Majority Leader at the time, and orchestrated a series of noisy attempts—including an all-night Senate session—to win confirmation for Bush’s judicial nominations. In November, 2003, after internal documents belonging to Democrats on the committee were leaked, the Senate opened an investigation that revealed that Miranda, through a quirk in the computer system, had been reading his adversaries’ e-mails and sharing them with right-leaning news outlets like the Washington Times. Senator Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican, called Miranda’s actions “improper, unethical, and simply unacceptable.” Miranda resigned, and a criminal investigation of him was initiated. "

    -Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker, December 3, 2007

    June 2, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Reformed Republican

    What the... Who is this Miranda clown? Never heard of him. Is he an elected public official or just some crack pot commentator trying to sound official to get some ratings?

    June 2, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. Bald Blacksmith

    The most qualified judge we have seen in ages and Miranda thinks she'll Bork herself? HA

    Sotomayor is hardly a liberal's dream, but she does seem to be a all around good fit for the job. And while her previous works haven't WOW'ed the political hacks, they are sound and as far as I can see have been fair and balanced.

    June 2, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Kelby In Houston, TX

    She could Bork herself. What? Bork?
    Hmmmm...Is that some sort of new legal term I have yet to hear about? They can't be talking about the singer....or they would spell her name right 😉
    CNN, I swear, you guys have GOT to get an editor or slow down and proof read your own work. The people who come hear to comment on your stories deserve it and it should be a matter of pride

    June 2, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. katiec

    Am so sick of the republicans. Trash, swiftboat, distort, lie, obstruct, point fingers, accuse.
    These egotistical, hypocritical, inept politicians just don't get it.

    June 2, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. P. Y.

    In other words, to be the kind of woman Miranda would like to see nominated, ( if it has to be a woman ) , she has to be soft spoken and never express her own opinion. She can never look like she has a temper and she must always agree with all the men she works with.
    Give me a break ! We don't want, or need, a puppet placed on the Supreme Court by Barack Obama.

    June 2, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. JML

    OMG.................she not repeat NOT BORK so how could she "Bork her-self"? How about she be who she is and you all deal with that, I trust that should keep your 24/7 busy enough. How ignorent is this write up?

    June 2, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Michele

    Who is this joker? He uses "we" as if he's part of the Senate. Sonia will be fine. She's intelligent and well-spoken, and can handle the committee. She's also a very good judge, and the garbage being said about her is just that. Instead of relying on two college dropouts (Rush and Hannity) to explain legal opinion, people should research o their own. These rich white, uneducated guys are simply jealous of a minority "making it" in the US, for all their bluster about people earning their own way and rising to the top. They only mean it if the person is white and male and thinks like they do.

    June 2, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. phoenix86

    I don't think so. Robert Bork suffered through personal attacks from democrats even though Bork was considered by most democrats to be one of the most qualified candidates ever to be considered for the courts.

    Republicans generally do not immediately run to the gutter like democrats do. I think they will be respectful but firm.

    The dems own the Senate and will confirm her, even though she is unqualified.

    June 2, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. Allan

    I have a better idea, Miranda: why don't you go Bork yourself, you criminal?

    June 2, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Someone should tell Frozone that there are 59 Democratic Senators, and people better than Sotomayor have taken themselves out before from stupid comments.

    June 2, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. shucks

    She will be a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnant Supreme Court. Can't wait for more change.

    June 2, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. geecee

    Evidently this guy (whoever he is) just happens to hate smart, self-sufficient women. Like so many other guys, they feel threatened by any woman in a position of power. Too bad if she can speak her mind and doesn't need a man behind her to tell her what to say, what to do, how to act. Wow, a real woman who can take care of herself just fine without a man's help – what a refreshing thought!!

    June 2, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. Post always rejected by CNN

    Alito, Roberts - soft spoken but a far right conservative who makes decision that set the middle class back. Darn so you can cut a person down, and it's acceptable if you whisper.

    June 2, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    @ phoenix86, who said "Republicans generally do not immediately run to the gutter like democrats do. I think they will be respectful but firm. "

    Really? And on what do you base this most profound of conslusions that you have reached? GOPers' past behavior? HAHAHAHA...give it up dude....give it up.

    June 2, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Chris from NY

    Jealousy is the root of hatred and the bible said he that hateth his brother is a murderer. When the Republicans keep spweing out hate I wonder if they don't think people are listening and taking note. People like Miranda should tone down their rheotoric and disagree without being disagreable.

    June 2, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Matt

    Bork is, of course, the scientific term.

    June 2, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    So says the spokesperson for "Families First on Immigration," which is basically calling for an end to the 14th Amendment citizenship birthright. While it at first blush it seems reasonable, because they propose granting citizenship to anyone here who has a relative here, including a baby born here, it reveals itself for what it is when they continue:

    "In return, the federal government would end birthright citizenship, which automatically grants U.S. citizenship to anyone born here, regardless of his parents' legal status. The 14th Amendment says 'all persons born or naturalized in the United States ... are citizens of the United States.'"

    Why? Well, not everyone who comes here is sufficiently Christian for these types now are they?

    June 2, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. Emma

    I am sick of Republicans categorizing strong minority women as "angry" code word for she is not like us. We as a minority group need to be heard so we have to speak loudly at times.......if you white men lived our life experiences then this would be a non-issue.

    First it was Michelle now it is Sotomayer............

    June 2, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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