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. Bill Nancy,KY

    How very rude. I am not surprised though! This guy is a bigger idiot than the two Senators that we have in Kentucky!

    June 19, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  2. Ridiculous!

    Politics as usual by the Republicans....

    June 19, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. Becky

    Someone made a comment that the only people defending him are old white racist men. Hello I am a 30 yo female and proud Republican. You haters keep trying to put a nail in our coffin???? What was the phrase "A sleeping giant has awoken"? Republicans and our party are not going anywhere. And most of the comments I have read spewing HATE are not coming from Republicans. You need to take a good look in the mirror!!

    June 19, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. EC

    Always good to see that our leaders are open-minded...

    You would think that after eleven years, and many changes in the U.S. and world, something would permeate into what seems a very rigid and old ideology.

    June 19, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. Hypocrisy

    I'm not going to weigh on one side or the other, but personally, if I were from Oklahoma, I'd be pretty offended by all the insults people are throwing out at them just because Inhoffe represents them.

    June 19, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. MIKE

    Good bay Republicans, is time for all of you to move to another galaxy, I can see that most or maybe all Republicans are out of context of the Constitution of this country, they don't learn their own level of ignorance and damage made to this country for so many years, please red-neck get out of you sit, and leave open for another person with brain and good intentions for this country.

    June 19, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. Peter

    Sotomayor has made some controversial remarks....This guy one the hand is proving that, but at the same time even if Sotomayor said nothing of the sort he'd still stand by this decision. It's a double-edged sword.

    June 19, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. rada

    Sotomayor is Puerto Rican and for all you ignorant people here is a little history:
    Puerto Rico was invaded by the United States during the Spanish-American War; the war ended when Spain officially ceded the island under the1898 Treaty of Paris. Puerto Rico became a United States territory and a military regiment known as the Porto Rico Regiment was established on the island.

    Upon the outbreak of World War I, the US Congress approved the Jones-Shafroth Act, which made Puerto Ricans United States citizens. As citizens of the United States, Puerto Ricans have participated in every major United States military engagement from World War I, with Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry Regiment distinguishing themselves in combat during the Korean War and more recently in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    So as HISPANIC citizens of the United States, Puerto Ricans who have shed blood many times more than any state of the nation per capita and continue to do so in every war; we have earned the right to have someone with such high values as Judge Sotomayor representing every American and we should be proud to have a more balance supreme court. Sen. James Inhofe should al least give her the chance to meet.

    June 19, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. jolly john

    yup , there's that good ol' bipartisanship in action again!!!!

    June 19, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  10. cheneywatchorg

    Excellent. When we might have simply guessed that he was an ignorant prejudiced man, now we can tell you definitively that he is indeed an ignorant bigot who needs not ask a question because he already knows everything. Sotomayor will ascend to the Supreme Court and this idiot will not have served his state constituents, and instead served himself, his party, and his masters.

    June 19, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. Peggy

    How do we ever expect the tone in Washington to change when people cannot be civil on a web page regardless of your opinion?

    June 19, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. dreamer

    You can tell he a member of the "no clue" party.

    June 19, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. justsane

    a) it is extremely rude and presumptuous for the senator to refuse to meet with her. it appears that he is unwilling to concede that there might be something for them to talk about–like the decisions she has made since she was appointed to the appeals court without his vote.

    b) many of you on both sides of the political spectrum are embarrassing both yourselves and your point of view. i would like to think that we can disagree about issues without name calling. it is impossible to have any type of intelligent dialogue about issues (necessary in order to reach any sort of compromise), when everyone is rolling around in the mud. c'mon people, let's try acting like grown-ups instead of anonymous trolls.

    June 19, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. Adam Habib Plano, TX

    As a democrat, I am glad. The party is doing everything to re-elect Obama for 2nd term- THE REPUBLICAN party.

    June 19, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. D

    i see no reason why the senator should meet with the racist bigot judge. She has said her opinion is better than his, him being an older white male.
    To heck with her!

    June 19, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. asian dude

    The most obvious observation within this article points to Senator Pat Roberts being an idiot. The guy voted against an intelligent person who succeeded without his vote, and now after all these years the poor guy still has not learned his lesson. Typical old-republican-guy way of thinking.

    June 19, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. Buddy San Diego

    Another Republican with an incredibly open and fair mind–how do these morons end up in congress–sorry it speaks volumns about OK.

    June 19, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. Ain't life strange?

    I've always believed when one makes a decision it's based on information currently at hand. When new information comes along and is evaluated, you have the ability to make a new decison. 11 Years is a long time. Its either ignorance or racism that has these two clowns refusing to speak with her to see if there is cause to make a new decison.

    June 19, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. EJ

    Typical close-mindedness that dominates the Republican party. Makes sense the they're becoming a fringe party.

    We need more politicians with the mindset ... while I disagree with what you're saying with all my heart, I'll defend with my life your right to say it.

    June 19, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. No Okie Here

    Hard to imagine who gets the prize for worst Oklahoman inflicted on the rest of the country, Inhofe or McVeigh. Time for this out-of-step, out-of-date right wingnut curmudgeon to pack it in. Please take him back, Oklahoma.

    June 19, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. matt

    As a conservative, I can say that this was just a stupid move on his part. You already have your mind made up. Fine. Engage her in a debate (unless you think you can't stand up to her). I may not agree with her stances, or some things she has said. However, I do believe she is an intelligent jurist and deserves some respect.

    June 19, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  22. WW

    I disagree. Making decisions without hearing the opinions of others is not standing on principle but a dogmatic refusal to challenge one's own opinions, i.e., close-mindedness. It would not hurt him to hear her opinions – or better yet, take the opportunity to express his own to her. I have a 4-year old who hates to hear other people's opinions that differ from his own (because that's not fun!). But my wife and I strive to keep him from becoming spoiled or close-minded. I would say Inofe's actions are like that of a petulant small child. And as for the US becoming a "tyranical (sic) socialist state" – you can rest your fears. Travel around the world and you will find much, much more diversity between political factions and you will find genuine socialist parties alongside "conservative" choices on the election ticket. Obama has not – and will not – radically change the US. If it is the stimulus package you fear, recall that it was the first action taken by Bush as well. The doomsday claims that Obama is turning us into a socialist state is silly. And to call him a tyrant is contradictory and wrong – he assumed power by a constitutionally-safe process.

    June 19, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. Oregon calling

    Time to oust the incumbents! Get real people!! Even the body changes over seven years time. I wonder if they ever had an "open" mind!

    Peace 🙂

    June 19, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Seattle Rocks

    How VERY mature!! (Not!!)

    June 19, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. Annie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    He can certainly vote any way he chooses, but to refuse to even meet with her is so very childish, petty, and arrogant. I think we can all surmise he's probably both a bigot and a chauvinist. Oklahoma deserves better than this childish boorish behavior.

    June 19, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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