June 19th, 2009
06:40 PM ET
12 years ago

Republican senator won't meet with Sotomayor

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/19/art.inhofe.gi.jpg caption="Inhofe has said he will vote against Sotomayor."](CNN) - As Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor continues to make the rounds on Capitol Hill, at least one senator is refusing to meet with her.

Sen. James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who previously voted against Sotomayor's current post as a federal appeals court judge, told the Tulsa World Thursday it is a "foregone conclusion" that he would not support Obama's pick for the high court.

"If you voted against anyone on the circuit [court], I have never been able to see how you turn around when the bar is actually higher and support it at a higher level," Inhofe also said.

So when it came time for Sotomayor to meet with Inhofe to discuss her judicial philosophy, the Oklahoman declined.

"The reason is he already knows how he is going to vote and it's probably best not to take up her time, she's very busy," Inhofe communications director Jared Young told CNN.

Meanwhile, fellow Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, also a Republican, met with Sotomayor Thursday, having what he described as a "philosophical discussion" with the high court nominee.

"It was more a philosophical discussion [about] life, problems in our country, difficulties we face," Coburn said.

Inhofe isn't the first Republican to explicitly proclaim his opposition to Sotomayor. Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts - who also voted against Sotomayor's nomination to the appeals court 11 years ago - said late last month he would again oppose her. A spokeswoman for Roberts did not know if the Kansas Republican has plans to meet with the nominee.

Sotomayor has met with more than 70 senators since Obama tapped her for the Supreme Court late last month.

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soundoff (400 Responses)
  1. Michael

    What a petulant and petty man.

    June 19, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. Mississippi Mike

    It's been proven that she is a racist and sexist. Also, the Supreme Court has a habit of striking down her rulings from her circuit court. What, exactly, makes her such an attractive pick for this position?

    June 19, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. MIke T

    Everyone has their opinion, right wrong or indifferent.

    June 19, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. Terik Ororke

    Does it really make any difference? We all know that she will be cnfirmed unless there is a momentous disaster on her part.

    June 19, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. Shucks

    So 11 years ago they both voted no. How amazing. I wonder if their recall would be that good if they had to answer how they voted for the erroneous war, deregulation, tax cuts for the wealthy, ect, ect. It is apparent that these two loonies would vote against anyone who doesn't fit their right wing christian idealogy.

    June 19, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Patty

    How disgusting of him. Where is common courtesy?

    June 19, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. Obamacrat

    Please senator, tell us why you voted against her the first time. I'd like to know.

    June 19, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. R in Maine

    I agree that he should not vote. He is obviously not qualified to make an intelligent decision.

    June 19, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. Lisa B

    One monkey don't stop the show.......

    June 19, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. Darth Vadik, CA

    But of course not, she's not old, she's not a man, and she's not white.
    What else do you expect from the Grand Old People (for you conservatives who are not so quick it means GOP)

    June 19, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. MJM

    Now that's funny! Somebody standing up to Obama's pick! Good for you Jim!

    June 19, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. Chris - Denver

    Inhoffe has proven yet again how utterly insane he is. How the good people of Oklahoma can live with themselves after sending this nut to the Senate is quite beyond me.

    June 19, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. lovable liberal

    When will Democrats stop kissing up to Republicans like Inhofe and get on to running the country without the approval they'll never give anyway?

    June 19, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. Obamacrat

    So you voted against her and she went on to do such a fine job that she is now being considered for the Supreme Court. Sounds like your judgement stinks senator. So if history tells us anything then a "no" vote from you again is a good sign that she will be a fine justice.

    June 19, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Is Sen. James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican scared to meet with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor maybe it's a woman thing. Meeting with her they maybe could have a philosophical discussion [about] life, problems in our country, difficulties we face. but sticking your head in a hole or ground don't get it, not today world

    June 19, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. DebM, Allentown, PA

    Mississippi Mike, it's called common courtesy. And instead of spouting Rush Limbaugh talking points, maybe you could do a little fact checking instead.

    Please note the following, specifically the last paragraph (excerpted from Newsweek:

    Three of her opinions have been overturned, which is 1.3 percent of all that she has written and 60 percent of those reviewed by the Supreme Court.

    Of the majority opinions that Judge Sonia Sotomayor has authored since becoming an appellate judge in 1998, three of her appellate opinions have been overturned by the Supreme Court.

    Our search for appellate opinions by Sotomayor on the LexisNexis database returned 232 cases. That's a reversal rate of 1.3 percent.

    But only five of her decisions have been reviewed by the justices. Using five as a denominator, the rate comes out to 60 percent.

    We have contacted Rush Limbaugh to ask how he came up with the figure he used recently when he said, "She has been overturned 80 percent by the Supreme Court." We'll update this item if we receive a response. In the week before President Barack Obama announced that he would nominate Sotomayor, the conservative Judicial Confirmation Network ran an Internet ad saying she had a "100 percent reversal rate," which is false. (We asked that group for back-up material, which a spokesman agreed to give us but which we never received; since Obama's announcement, the group has taken the ad down.)

    In any case, 60 percent of the cases the Supreme Court has reviewed is not a particularly high number. In any given term, the Supreme Court normally reverses a higher percentage of the cases it hears. During its 2006-2007 term, for instance, the Court reversed or vacated (which, for our purposes here, mean the same thing) 68 percent of the cases before it. The rate was 73.6 percent the previous term.

    June 19, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. SonnyRey

    Just no end to the sour grapes. I cannot believe Oklahoma voters would approve of such such sour grapes. Incredible fools like this guy will destroy the republican party and that's bad for our proud country.

    June 19, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. marcus

    is this actually news ?? a republican who has said he will NOT vote for sotomayor ?? when is CNN going to have a headline that the sun rose in the east ?? as if there wasn't ANYTHING more newsworthy than filling the internet with a completely pointless article stating the most obvious thing in the world, that there's a republican senator who has said he will not vote to seat sotomayor on the supreme court.. no doubt that guy is perfectly comfortable with alito and thomas and scallia..

    June 19, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. GOP = 21st century dodo

    Mississippi Mike, if it has been proven that she is a racist, why did Gingrich back off his claim that she's a racist? Could it be because language like yours is what's shrinking the GOP into a mob of toothless appalachian yokels?

    June 19, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. Taa Taa

    Mississippi Mike has to be Rush Limbaugh in front of his computer. this nut job has been spewing the same non sense every since President Obama annonced he was running.. Mike, we think you are on the wrong website. Fix News is waiting for you dude. We are Obama supporters, and we are praying for him to succeed. His success is Americas sucess. A+A=B

    June 19, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. cjr

    who cares – this guy is a complete idiot and that doesn't say a whole lot about the people who sent him to washington. He's not important anyway –

    June 19, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. Mark

    So what? She's got the votes. He can no doubt better spend his time denying global warming and evolution.

    June 19, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. MATT

    What a disgraceful pig.

    June 19, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. DH - Md

    What a bone head.

    June 19, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. cappicola

    Apparently, most Americans gravitate towards politicians who are disingenuous and in lockstep with whatever popular opinion dictates rather than towards those rare and unpopular few who would choose to be candid and honest.

    June 19, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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