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. Steph

    Well, Lindsey Graham often bugs the hell out of me!

    July 16, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. Gloria

    He bugs the hell out of me!!!

    July 16, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. katiec

    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.

    July 16, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Larry

    Lindsey Graham is a no-class hick.

    His voice, with that stupid southern drawl, bugs the hell out of me.

    Graham would understand an enriched life if he had one. The idea that people don't learn from their experiences and apply them to their lives is just plain stupid.

    They should vote now. Ms Sotomayor should no longer have to answer these idiots and bigots.

    July 16, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. What a Joke

    The GOP knows that Sotomayor is not a racist, but it is the only thing they can come up with to try to keep her down. Obviously it is not working. We ALL have made statements at one time or another that has been misinterpreted or taken out of context. It does not now or has it ever reflected our true views. At least Sen. Graham acknowledged that her rulings were not "radical". Now if we can quit playing politics and start questioning her on her 17 years of case law rather than one phrase that was taken out of context, life would be good. I would also like to point out, if her views were so "racist", why hasn't she made similar statements since then? Pick another fight, GOP, she is going to get confirmed. Remember Sen. Cornyn, you asked Roberts if asking the same question over and over again would change your answer, and he said no. Take a hint and move on.

    July 16, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. B E in TN

    lindsey graham is arrogant and obnoxious and "bugs the hell out of me."

    July 16, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. Dan

    Lindsey Graham bugs the hell out of me.

    That drawl is super duper annoying.

    July 16, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. southerncousin

    Alas Lindsey, you are not a liberal democrat, so you won't block the approval of the presidents choice with the politics of personal destruction and partisan one upsmanship. That is the libs stock in trade, keep above it, you are better than Teddy "Murdering" Kennedy and Pat "Pass the Hat for ACORN" Leahy.

    July 16, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Julie

    Wow-God forbid someone should have an ethnic background, or a diverse family or upbringing. Watch out if you are proud of your roots, or talk about your poor upbringing that most of those fools don't have a clue about, since they never really had to work a day in their lives. The GOP just can't seem to handle anyone who might be "different" than they see themselves. It's incredibly embarassing for this country to have such bigots in the Legislative Branch of Government, and to actually air their laundry on television for the world to see. (and not realize how ignorant or racist they actually appear) UNBELIEVEABLE!!!

    July 16, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Sheri

    Well Lindsey the last 8 years have bugged the hell out of me! Your questions or should I say your condescending comments on her temperament bugged the hell out of me. Did you say those things about or to Justice Scalia? No, because he would have verbally whipped you a new one! Now go sit down in your closet and be quiet!

    July 16, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Jon in CA

    The Supreme Court is the HIGHEST court in the land... only 9 seats... and THIS is the best democrats can do??

    Sotomayer???

    The woman doesn't even know the difference between "Imminent" and "Eminent".

    She answered yesterday about a person being able to defend themselves from eminent danger.

    HELLOOOOO

    eminent = higher quality, famous
    Imminent = immediate, ready to take place

    She is simply dancing for Senators until they decide to obey Obama's directive – irregardless how unqualified she is.

    July 16, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    That's funny, because his voice irks the heck out of me. He and Sessions both. Good ole boy (KKK in Sessions' case) doesn't cut it with most folks.

    July 16, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Tina, NC

    Lindsey, EVERYTHING you say bugs the hell out of me!

    July 16, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Leave it up to a S.C. republican senator to base these confirmation hearings solely around some 8 year old remarks which the nominee has already stated was a bad choice of words. Can he move on to omething different already?

    July 16, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Really?

    Quite frankly, the Repubs line of questioning suggest gender and racial overtones that cause a lot of minorities to think they cannot perform the responsibilities of their position without bias toward minorities.

    The consistently interrupt the judge, disrespectfully after they ask her a question; which prevents her from answering their question.

    They won't the answers that THEY WANT and when they don't get them the force the issue.

    They make comments, like the one address here that they would not make to a white male.

    For Sessions to state that firearms could be banned if Soto is confirmed is like saying slavery will be reinstated if Repubs have their way.

    July 16, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Lindsey Graham thinks South Carolina is an important state.

    It isn't thought of well here in the West because we are sick of them wanting to live in the past, restore the Confederacy and slavery, and that they think they are such a hot deal. Not.

    Just a little state, sort of flat with not much to look at, lots of murders (lots of guns), and many lily-white bald old guys who need to start thinking outside the Bible.

    And my family is from Charleston.

    July 16, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Rick in IL

    Ever since he was one of the Impeachment "managers" he's bugged the hell out of ME.

    July 16, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    what a stupid comment.....

    July 16, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. sharong58

    I am so tired of the Republicans complaining about every decision Barack Obama makes from his choice of supreme court judge to his spending time with his family!!!! Everytime there is a negative comment about the president, his policies, his agenda or anything, you can bet a REPUBLICAN is behind it!!!! And look who the biggest complainers are . . . McLame, who still sounds lame, Palin, who still doesn't have a brain, Cheney who seems to thinks he's still in office and Romney, who didn't even make the primaries and now thinks he's gonna win the Repulican nomination in 2012!
    Give the man (the president a break) He's only been in office 6 months!!! Stand back and watch a master work, you old foggies!
    The man is highly intelligent and has a plan! They are probably afraid, especially McLame, who is married to a multimillionaire, that President Obama is going to eliminate, and rightly he should, all their tax shelters!! Obama now and in 2012!

    July 16, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Well, by now it should be obvius that it's all he's got. He doesn't really understand the law, the Constitution, her education, her experience, her training, her track record, etc., so he latches onto the one thing he thinks he can make hay with and won't let go. Can't just address it and then move on, because there's nothing for him to move on to...he's a one trick pony...the trick being to keep riling up the neocon fundy GOPer base so they'll send money to the RNC et al. Fact is, if he tried to get into a scrap with her about real legal issues, she'd rip his pseudo-down-home facade a new sphincter.

    July 16, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. Sheri

    Jon in CA – Of course you may not of mistaken which word was used! And if that's all you have, sad. You see she is the most qualified nominee in a hundred years, but even if she did use that word, in your world that disqualifies all 17 years of her excellency on the bench.

    July 16, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. Jeff Brown

    Thanks for that nugget of wisdom Lindsay!

    July 16, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. Kevin B

    The GOP has sealed thier fate with latino voters, they are so focused on this none issue of "racism" from Mrs Sotamayor that they are having the "complete meltdown" senator Graham said would bring this nominee down.

    What complete idiots and an embassament The GOP has become, they are an insult to the intelligence of thinking americans.

    July 16, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. Really?

    To: Jon in CA

    Sounds like you think you're qualified to be judge of the supreme court.

    Some wh ite men fear minorities taking their power. Get over it! It is inevitable. Hold on to your gun. But remember, you can't k ill us all. hahahahahahah

    July 16, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. PFFT

    He called it – if he used the terms white man as opposed to latino woman, EVERYONE would be up in arms. Instead, it's just a talking point – another point of the reverse racism that is rampant in the USSA.

    July 16, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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