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.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (400 Responses)
  1. Fla.

    Give me a break. Sen. Inhofe will not even give Judge Sotomayor a respectful chance? A lot can happen over 11 years, Senator, but I guess he prefers to stick with the Party of No.

    iRepublicano no mas!

    June 19, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Steve (the real one)

    Like it or not Liberals that's his choice! I thought you libs were PRO-choice or does that mean abortions only!

    June 19, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Jim McCall from Tennessee

    Is that guy really a US Senator?

    June 19, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. Brian from OK

    I'm from Oklahoma and it does not surprise me that Sen. Inhoff is not meeting with her. His reasoning is akin to talk radio logic which is, unfortunately, rampent in OK. Though Sen. Coburn (R-OK) will likely vote against her as well, at least he has the decency to respect her and meet with her and listen to what she has to say. Sen. Inhoff believes in the talk radio logic that only conservative values are right and that it is pointless to listen to what the other side has to say. So, there you go. All these stories do is feed Sen. Inhoff's ego as an unobjective and petulant conservative in the worst sense.

    June 19, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Rev. Daniel Zehnal

    Both of those Republican Senators continue to demonstrate the same stupidity that we had over the last 8 years. A senator of the US Congress refusing to meet with a Supreme Court nominee to LISTEN and HOPEFULLY learn something new. Being hard headed and rude and rigid, as if nothing new might be available is hardly, I would think, the kind of qualities that should characterize a US senator. I would hope that the people in the states that they represent are smarter than those senators and replace them with people who are much more competent. It is simply unconscionable (sic) not to even give the candidate the time of day and to genuinely listen. If this is the kind of leadership in the Grand Old Party, thank God I am a Democrat.

    June 19, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. Pepper from CA

    How embarrasing for the people of Oklahoma to have Sen. James Inhofe refuse to meet Sotomayor. It shows a closed mind.

    June 19, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Linda B., Ga.

    God forbid someone would or could change their minds about somebody else. Sen. Inhofe you are a real "@ss", maybe your voters back home in Oklahoma will change their minds about you, the next time they go to vote!

    June 19, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. Denise in OKC

    Go figure. This explains why Oklahoma is the way that it is....hey, I'm a transplant.

    June 19, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    hahahaha – said:
    "Enjoy your status as a second party for the next 30 years."

    If that's true, then this country is doomed.

    June 19, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Marc

    Boston Irish – The problem is that he was proven WRONG in his belief that she wasn't qualified to be a federal appeals court judge.
    See the numbers in DebM, Allentown, PA (June 19th, 2009 3:40 pm ET) post down bellow. And, remember, they are from an excerpt of Newsweek.
    So he didn't thought that she was qualified to do the job, she proved him wrong, and that he has to evaluate her for a higher ranked job he uses his error/mistake of years ago to back up his claim? That's not reasonability, just shear stubborness, and he's supposed to use the first and not the second while making his decisions.

    June 19, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Danny E. Gonzalez

    keep your friends close and your enemies even closer... I guess no one gave him the memo... to not have the intellectual curiousity to engage Judge Sotomayor is at best ignorant, at worse dismissive. perhaps he didn't fully understand the concept of "serving the people" when he was sent to washington, it is not "serve the people when is convinient to me". this is a big appointment a life-time appoitment to be precise and this senator thinks is waisting his time... perhaps a civics lesson is in order.

    June 19, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Ariana

    Mike in Fairfax June 19th, 2009 4:04 pm ET

    It amazes me how many of you total idiots scream racism at the drop of a hat. Keep it up, and soon it will mean nothing. Why not try and make an educated, thought-out response instead. You want to end racism? Quit screaming it whenever someone disagrees with you or your idol.

    That's because most of you ARE racists! And why don't you complain about Newt Gingrich and Limbaugh whining about "reverse racism???" It's getting to be an easy excuse for old white men!

    June 19, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. mj

    If this was a democrat or liberal people would be defending his stance and saying he is standing by his convictions. Go figure. Double standard hits again. And apparently the folks in Oklahomans are smarter than some give them credit for,

    June 19, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Dave

    to Chris W.

    She was appropriate for doing that. He should have addressed her as Senator. That is her title. Privates learn that in Basic (at least the basic training I went to in 1974). Apparently he skipped that class.

    You referring to her as a "monkey" is equally classless (pardon the spelling). Would you refer to another female that way? Or is it just because Senator Boxer is a Senator or a Liberal or a Democrat? What would you do if someone referred to your sister or mother that way? I realize that this is a public forum and you have a right to say whatever you want but don't get indignant when called on it.

    June 19, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. Eric

    Inhofe is one of the biggest conservative fools left in Congress. He's the guys that said "climate change is the biggest fraud perpetuated on the american public." He also whole heartedly back the Iraq war, torture, and most of the other mistake the GOP made. If you want to do what's right, you do the opposite of this guy.

    June 19, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Earl

    Republicans can oppose Sotomayor on "philosophical" grounds. But if they treat her harshly and rudely (like Inhofe is doing), they will pay the price in 2010 (at least) by offending two huge electoral groups - women in general and Hispanics - both of which already oppose the GOP already. The potential is not just oppositon from these important voters, but by near-landslide proportions.

    So I say, go for it dumbell Inhofe - show everyone your stuff.

    June 19, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. Brian

    Sen. James Inhofe sounds like an open minded Republican. If he can't change after 11 years how could he expect someone else would.

    I'm glad I'm not from Oklahoma!

    June 19, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. JR

    Don't ya just love the open mind of the GOP or should I say empty mind?

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

    Another racist GOP member. No surprise here. Not really worthy of a news item. Why do you hate Latina women Sen. Inhofe?

    June 19, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. John

    That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. I didn't like her then, so how could like her now?
    Typical redneck , uniformed, racist from the OK state.
    This guy reminds me of Frank Burns on M.A.S.H.
    "Gambling is illegal on this post, therefore, the money was stolen."

    June 19, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. Mike Moderate

    Ok Okie...what a dumb a– you are!

    That is some more SOLID GOP reasoning to answering issues in this country.

    What an idiot!

    June 19, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. Dee, NJ

    RNC Nut's! "Is this America or North Korea"!

    June 19, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. Jamie from Riverside

    The party of NO has spoken again!

    June 19, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This speaks to the problem with ideologues. You can't get them to see anything but what they want to see despite the facts. I would hope that he would at least have the courtesy to do that. Remember that this is the guy that denys global warming and science in general - anything that is better for the corporations and big business is for him.

    June 19, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. malclave

    And the liberals here at CNN continue to celebrate their hatred and intolerance.

    I would hope that a wise white man, with his rich experiences, would make better decisions than a woman of color, anyway.

    June 19, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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