July 16th, 2009
11:36 AM ET
13 years ago

GOP senator to Sotomayor: your speeches 'bug the hell out of me'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/16/art.grahamsoto0716.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Lindsey Graham told Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor that some of the things she has said 'have bugged the hell out of me.'"]WASHINGTON (CNN) - A GOP senator told Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor Thursday some of her speeches "bug the hell out of me" but conceded most of her rulings were "generally mainstream."

The expression of frustration followed by renewed questions aimed at getting Sotomayor to reveal more about her personal views was again the hallmark of Republican questioning in the fourth day of Sotomayor's confirmation hearings.

"You've said some things that have bugged the hell out of me," said South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham.

"Your speeches are disturbing, particularly to conservatives. ... Those speeches to me suggested gender and racial affiliations in a way that a lot of us wonder, will you take that line of thinking to the Supreme Court in these cases of first precedent."

But, Graham also said, "to be honest with you, your record as a judge has not been radical by any means. ... You have, I think, consistently, as an advocate, took a point of view that was left of center. You have, as a judge, been generally in the mainstream."

Graham honed in once again on Sotomayor's controversial statement that a "wise Latina" could reach a better decision than a white man.

Asked what she would say to people offended by her remarks, Sotomayor said that she regrets that she has "offended some people. I believe that my life demonstrates that that was not my intent to leave the impression that some have taken from my words."

Filed under: Lindsey Graham • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Chuck

    Graham, the hypocrite, publicly saying to Sotomayor that "I like you, judge" tells me that as soon as her back is turned, he'll stab her in the back. He reminds me of an old southern belle calling everyone sweetheart and then when everyone is no longer around they trashed them.

    July 16, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Nini

    It may bug the hell out of you senator but our judges making decision based on race and peoples status Scares me to death.
    This lady with every speech has made her intentions very clear but now we are told not to believe the words that came out of her mouth!!
    Could the real Sotomayor please standup.

    We as American’s should fight for our legal system and I am baffled by Republicans that are so nonchalant about this.
    We are swimming in very dangerous territories that could shake the foundation of our Democracy.

    July 16, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. Cathy in AZ

    Senator, most of your speeches bug the hell out me as well!
    I thought the south had come further, but the comments and behavior of Senators Graham, Sessions and Cornyon tell the true story, white racist men!

    July 16, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Obama Fan

    We're into Day 4 now, and the "wise Latina" comment is quickly becoming the most over-discussed discussion piece in US History. Does the GOP have anything else to talk about? It's clear that their strategy to use her speeches against her is unraveling. GOP...get a life!

    July 16, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Dean

    He's taking marching orders from Boss Limdbaugh again

    July 16, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. sheena - Canada

    Dave – The Truth Teller

    Same post – different location – is this all you have to say. You have already proven yourself to be a racist and bigot. Can you stop now – or at least find something else to say.

    July 16, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. Excuse me?

    Graham bugs the hell out of me...SC wake up and get rid of this CLOWN!

    July 16, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. renea

    But she will be confirned though because the republicans are thinking ahead to 2010 and 2012 its not about her speech its about then to them THE LATINO VOTES Watch she be confirned!

    July 16, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. Will Hartwell

    Sen Graham, she is a wise latino, so stop trying to force her to stop emasculating white males in this country.

    July 16, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. Richard Larson

    It is too bad that a thoroughly decent man such as Senator Graham should have lent his voice to the character assassination of a thoroughly competent judge. The mindless repitition of specious arguments about gender bias, racial bias, affirmative action, empathy, and fundamental opposition to "Stare Decisis" and the understanding that at certain times cases are brought before the appellate courts that are not settled law and any decision will have areas where the court will be making a decision that will eventually determine legislative policy. is astounding in a man of demonstrated judicial and legal talent. Frankly, I wish the man was a full time Military Judge. The Military Court of Appeals needs judges like him who do understand military law, the law of war, and international law. He is wasted as a senator from South Carolina.

    July 16, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. Vic

    Dave the Lying Monkey said:
    July 16th, 2009 12:50 pm ET

    I laugh at the Lib monkeys calling anybody who does not worship Obama, or the other Dem stooges, names such as "white trash", "haters", "undereducated", etc. Lib monkeys like to think of themselves as elite, educated, monkeys. The problem is that once they leave mommy and daddy's cage or their own government-funded cage, they are lost little monkeys. That's why they need government to hold their little monkey hands at the expense of those who work hard for their money. Lib monkeys are soooo predictable.

    You know the funny thing about you and so many other so called conservatives is? You think you're the only ones that work, pay taxes, serve in the military and love this country. If you truly believe that, you're a fool...but we already knew that, you supported Palin!!! There is one thing you and yours do have in common...the blatant hypocracy that you spew on a daily basis is sickening at best. Get a life young fella and get real!!!

    July 16, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. R in Maine

    Lindsey is just a piece of garbage, having no ethics and no real positions on anything meaningful. If he was worth a anything, he would have announced he was voting for her and meant it.

    July 16, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. Tom Paine

    If I hear Democrats say "latina" one more time I'm going to puke.

    July 16, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. PJ

    Wow, how quickly most Democrats jump to attack the Republican that is being the most realistic about the nomination. He's stating that he doesn't agree with her politics, but compliments her on the track record of her rulings being down the middle. Quite frankly, I don't want everyone in Congress/White House/SC to agree all the time, but I do give applaud Graham for stating that she appears to be able to leave her personal politics out of court rulings.

    Democrats are loving their super majorities. However, as an independent voter, I'm still waiting to see them do something with it instead of just sit back and brag about their popularity.

    July 16, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. Andi

    Dave – who laughs at us 'lib monkeys'. Dude – if you are trying to get a point across, change your language. No one on either side can take you seriously (except the fringe on the right) when you are only being nasty and hateful. You are contributing nothing to any discussion that way.

    July 16, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. Valerie in North Carolina

    The behavior of the Republicans at Judge Sotomayor hearings have been disgraceful. They asked questions of her they would never ask of a male candidate and concentrated, not on the cases in which she ruled, but words in speaches made years ago. To questions her credentials when, now sitting on the bench appointed by the first President Bush, is Clarence Thomas probably the most unqualified member even to reach the Supreme Court. All this reminds this senior citizen why I am no longer a republican.

    July 16, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. Tom Paine

    @ larry –

    By all means, no supreme court nominee should ever have to answer any questions, right? And, if anyone asks them qestions, they must be a bigot or stupid or not understand an "enriched life" that only Puerto Ricans enjoy.

    Why even have a vote? CNN poster Larry says she should be on the court right now!

    July 16, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. guy in CA

    i consider myself to be a Democrat and a strong advocate of most of President Obama's plans, but I'm also someone who attempts to see both sides of the story, which most of the people on this board seem to be oblivious to. I personally think Sen. Graham is one of the better republicans and the way he conducted himself was respectable and in no way racist as most of the posters suggested. I think you guys should really think before you start condemning people's characters just because their political views are different from yours. It disappoints me as a democrat to see other democrats behaving like little children. I thought we prided ourselves in being open-minded and accepting.

    July 16, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. Tom Paine

    @ larry –

    By all means, no supreme court nominee should ever have to answer any questions, right? And, if anyone asks them qestions, they must be a bigot or stupid or not understand an "enriched life" that only Puerto Ricans enjoy.

    Why even have a vote? CNN poster Larry says she should be on the court right now!

    July 16, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. John from SC

    That's just like ahem 'Senator' Graham.

    July 16, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. The Unshrub

    Lindsey Graham bugs the hell out of me.

    July 16, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. Kathy

    All minorities and all who despise racists should never forget the travesty of the GOP questioning this woman. They just can't stand it the "White Men" are no longer the ONLY ones in power.

    July 16, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. Steve (the real one)

    @katiec July 16th, 2009 11:57 am ET
    Lindsey Graham is certainly enjoy ing his postering in front of the camera. If he contained substance might be worth watching but is
    same o, same o republican ranting with no substance.
    How she keeps her cool in addressing these pompous hypocrits is beyond me.
    I'll bet you think Senator rFranken's "Perry Mason" tribute was insightful and scholarly, right? She is nominated for the highest court in this country! Hard questions are expected and they also counteract the "softballs' being tossed as well! Both parties do it! Did you complain when then Judges Roberts and Alito were grilled by the Dems? I didn't think so!

    July 16, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. Nathan,

    How ironic it is that a bunch or white males mostly from the south are concerned that a Hispanic woman from the north might be racist and let her Latina backgroung influence her decisions on the court. I'm sure that all the white male judges on the court are able to put away their experiences as a white male in American society when looking at different cases. The only one on the court who has demostrated an ability to completely not let their background infleunce their decisions is Clarence Thomas. You would never know he grew up black and poor in the south by how he votes. You would have to see his face to know. Perhaps he needs to see his face. Someone give him a mirror. I'm sure he could stand looking at it for 5 seconds before wincing and turning away.

    July 16, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  25. howie

    She bugs the hell out of me and I have only listened to her for a few minutes. Why is it she can not answer a simple yes or no question.

    July 16, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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