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. Addy

    Just another old, grey-haired, disgruntled Republican who can't seem to "get over himself". What a miserable old soul he must be.

    June 19, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Teena in Denver

    Hey Mississippi Mike–it Has NOT been proven that she is a racist, but it HAS BEEN proven that the Tennessee republican party IS racist after sending out that picture of the presidents!

    June 19, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Matt in Michigan

    Classy, Senator. Shows that you're really giving her full consideration.

    This tells me that the American people shouldn't listen to what you have to say at her hearing, seeing how it's a "foregone conclusion" based on a decision you made 11 years ago.

    June 19, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. S M R

    Typical close-minded GOP attitude.

    June 19, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. Soporifix

    Typical conservative wingnut. Wouldn't want to let actual facts interfere with his opinions. Imhofe makes George Bush seem intelligent and curious.

    And his partner here, "Mississippi Mike," seems to think "proof" means "someone I like said it."

    June 19, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Nick

    Seems reasonable – didn't like before, won't like her at a higher position. This is not news, simply the MSM spinning this to make conservatives appear unreasonable.

    June 19, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. Grog in Ohio

    Stay classy GOP. Such "high principles" will be justly rewarded in 2010, 2012, 2014, etc...

    June 19, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. chris case, frisco tx

    Why waste Judge Sotomayor's time. Just take a look at these two naysayers. Oh, and I'm sure that Inhofe and Roberts are so intelligent about judicial decisions. And when did they ever support any Democrat on anything, much less a woman. Just take a look at their faces, mean, sour old bitter men with nothing but hope that their right-wing religious fanatics can get a hold on the American public. Stay to the right. You're and your kind are on the way out, thanks to the intelligence of the young Americans coming to the forefront of this great nation.

    June 19, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Kathy

    "Boston Irish June 19th, 2009 3:48 pm ET

    He was right in his reasoning. If you feel someone is not qualified for a lower job, how could you justify supporting them for a higher job? "

    umm... how about the fact that she now has 11 years experience as a judge?

    June 19, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. mrich

    Definitely not a gentleman. To not even agree to meet is like not offering to shake hands when offered.

    June 19, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. dennisk

    I have to applaud Sen. Tom Coburn for displaying the courtesy and class that Sen. Inhofe lacks. The biggest fool is the one that thinks he already knows everything...

    June 19, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Judy

    Are these two republicans up for election in 2010? If so, I a, saying my goodby to them now.

    June 19, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. BobbyAllen

    Fine job over the last 11 years?! Racist, sexist, involved in Flight 800 cover-up, member in La Raza (the race), member in women's only club, regularly overturned by Supreme Court. Face it, Obama nominated her because she is solidly pro abortion and pro gay rights agenda.

    June 19, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Jaxon

    Inhofe thinks he's God.

    June 19, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. Doug

    I believe the sign of a mature mind is one that intelligently considers the facts and then makes a decision. Considering the facts means researching the facts and sometimes it means changing your mind and sometimes it means making the same decision. The sign of a whithering mind is one that refuses to listen to new facts or even consider the possibility that a situation has changed. Both men seem to show that their minds are in decline and should not be in a position evaluate anything that affects others.

    June 19, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Deb

    Ahhhh.....the party of No.

    June 19, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Andi

    Everyone is indeed, entitled to their opinion, but at work, if I don't agree with someone, I cannot just 'opt out' of meetings that involve them. I thought the Right was all about protocol, seeing as how upset many of them were that OUR President was in shirtsleeves in the Oval Office. The 'good' Senator from OK is showing he is ill-mannered and lacking in class. I hope his mother tried to raise him better than that, and I hope the people in Oklahoma decide they don't need to be represented by a rude misogynist such as Senator Inhofe.

    June 19, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Ex-Repug Gal

    He couldn't meet with her to discuss their differences in a civilized manner? Republicans get nastier and nastier. It's a wonder any of them are in office anymore.

    June 19, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Alan

    Why all the nasty comments about this man? I support Sotomayor's nomination to the Court, but agree with Sen. Inhofe that if he previously opposed her appointment to the lower court, it makes no sense to waste both of their time.

    June 19, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. Emily

    I'm a Dem and even I can see that Inhofe's rational MAKES SENSE. As much as I want to call him a moron, his argument is rational. "if I didn't support her then, why would I support her for higher post?!?!" I do think that refusing to meet with her and spend a LITTLE time getting to know her is rude...but he IS a Repug...whaddya expect?

    My question is...why did he vote against her in the first place. I'm just curious.

    June 19, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. EO

    Who in their right mind cares whether or not you voted for her. That is probably too intellectually taxing for a Senator from Oklahoma to comprenehend.

    She is too smart and inteliigent for you to keep up with, So spare yourself the embarrassment

    Bigot. Bigot, Bigot

    June 19, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. Clarabelle

    Sotomayor is in like flint. . . why bother with what Inhofe has to say, he's just another goose-stepping Republican.

    June 19, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. Joe

    Just another example of Senator Inhoffe's closed minded approach to policy making. I guess he doesn't feel any need to even try to understand the position of those of his constituents who disagree with him on the issues ... this just being one of them. It is just said that more Oklahoma voters don't have an more open-minded approach to electing a new Senator from their state.

    June 19, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. RAG

    Sen. James Inhofe has made up his mind and doesn't want to be confused by the facts. He is a firm believer and defender of the right to be an ignorant no-neck jerk. God love him... well, because no one else ever will...

    June 19, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. Zac

    I hope he will also refuse to comment during the confirmation hearings

    June 19, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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