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. Huh

    No respect .

    July 16, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Steph

    Do Sessions and Graham often interrupt other white men or do they save this "privilege" for women and minorities? Oh, and I'm loving Sessions preaching about ending discrimination! HA!

    July 16, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. Kevin

    All of you "open-minded" and "tolerant" liberals are pathetic. To attack a person because of the way their voice sounds...really? Sen. Graham is from South Carolina, so yes, he is going to sound like it. You are nothing more than a pack of hypocrites, who are engaging in the same type of close-minded, intolerant attacks that you constantly accuse the GOP of espousing. Grow up and get over it. If you don't like the man's voice turn the captions on your TV and mute it, or don't listen in the first place.

    July 16, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Can't Touch This

    Like I always said ... President Obama is soooooo much smarter than the Republicans. This nominee had unimpeacheable credentials...

    Ivy League education ...
    Experience as a Prosecutor ... translation "pro-police" .... so no "bleeding heart liberal" claim can be made
    YEARS as a Federal Judge ...

    Moreover, if open-minding, intelligent, thinking conservatives read her "wise Latina" speech in context, most WOULD NOT have problem with it.

    These Republicans want Billy-Boy in West Virginia to hate her ... they want to defeat her ... they want to besmerch her .... but in the words of MC HAMMER .... CAN'T TOUCH THIS !

    July 16, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. citizenjane

    For Pete's sake, when will SOMEONE in the GOP please stand up and become a leader and start LEADING this party of incompetents?

    This isn't the place for a stump speech, Graham.

    July 16, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. Sarah in Colorado

    Jon in California might want to switch "irregardless" (which is redundant) to "regardless" before he criticizes Sotomayor for (probably accidentally) saying "eminent" instead of "imminent."

    July 16, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @Shari and Julie, perhaps you should go back and look at the circus the Dems caused with Clarence Thomas. How about the job they did on Judge Bork? Even today the term getting 'borked' implies attacks based on ideology not qualifications. Want tio look at her record and not her words, then look at the recent New Haven firefighters case where she supported blatant discrimination against white firefighters.

    July 16, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Mike

    All of the Republican Senators have again shown why the Republican Party is a party out of touch with reality and why it is destined to fall even more as time goes on.
    The Democratic Party is not the answer to our problems, but the Republican Party is a big part of the problem. We as Americans have only two choices – Democratic or Republican and we choose in 08 the lesser of two evils. We will do so again in 12.

    July 16, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Mo

    LOL @ Jon in CA – talk about desperately looking for a flaw! Many people PRONOUNCE imminent and eminent the same way. But the word IRREGARDLESS is like a double-negative and is not a true word. The word is REGARDLESS my friend. Maybe you should critique Ms. Sotomayor on her legislative history instead of the pronunciation of a word. It appears that grammar is not your strong suit.

    July 16, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  10. Jeff Brown

    To "jon in CA" who bashed Sotomayor for her grammer. Since you are so quick to pick out someone elses failings, try looking in the mirror... "irregardless" is not an acceptable word to use in the context you applied it...

    July 16, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. Randolph Carter

    Jon in CA doesn't even know the difference between Sotomayor and Sotomayer. Have a nice day!

    July 16, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. KirksNoseHair

    Bottom line: She will be confirmed. End of story.

    July 16, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. D

    Well, the thing is, choice of words does matter when deciding on cases at the highest tier of our Legal system. Poor wording is going to be open to interpretation. I doubt she's a racist herself but the comment does come dangerously close to being racist itself.

    July 16, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. JB

    What a gasbag.

    Ask a decent question, Lindsey, or please put a lid on it.

    July 16, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Fla.

    Please. Judge Sotomayor answered the question over and over and over again.

    Republicans complained about repeated questions during Judge Roberts' hearing, and the GOP hypocritically does the SAME thing to Judge Sotomayor. Double standards abound.

    In fact, this racist approach my former GOP is taking to appease their xenophobic "base" bugs the h__ out of me. iNo mas!

    July 16, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. Laverne

    Lindsay Graham and that whiny sounding voice bugs the hell out of me!

    July 16, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Scott in Ohio

    Graham is a good guy. I love his straight-talking style. Obama could learn from him.

    July 16, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. RepubliKLANs Are Plain Stupid

    "Your speeches are disturbing, particularly to conservatives" – so this dimwit "down-low closet" american senator thinks only about the concerns of right wing NUTS; so is he NOT supposed to be serving all of his constituents...democrats, independents and republiklans alike.

    this close minded thinking of looking at the other person or race in a narrow minded view is why the USA is still in dark ages of racial bias and inequality in all places...the only reasons Lindsey Graham & his republiklans blowhard are throwing all these tantrums is because Sotomayor said she hope she could be smarter and make a better decision than all the white male grilling her! – big deal, she does!!!

    Lindsey Graham bugs the hell out of everyone!!!!

    July 16, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. I laugh at comrade Limbaugh daily

    Hows that tourism business to your redneck State doing Linsey?Didnt think so.hahaha

    July 16, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  20. Lynn in CA

    katie is right. Lindsey Graham is just trying to get camera time and have his words end up on the nightly news. If this nominee was a white male, he'd have nothing to say

    July 16, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. S Callahan

    Political posturing....it's all for the media with no substance.

    somewhere along the line things have become confusing for the masses..who is keeping an eye on the 'union' being formed..the power given to the euro? These things are so much more important at this time.....just a thought.

    July 16, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. MC

    I am opposed to racism in all forms but accept Sotomayor's explanation of the New Haven ruling. The fact that the Senator from SC won't move off the issue bugs the hell out of me. At this point, he is doing nothing more than grandstanding and proving that he is a pompous ass.

    July 16, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. Nero

    I'm sick of all this false outrage. If she was nominated by George Bush, Lindsay Graham wouldn't care at all that she said this. He's just playing politics.

    July 16, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Irma in North Carolina

    I think this SC dude should pay attention to what his govener has done to his state. Maybe he should go join Sarah and see what he can do for her. I dont think he should of used such harsh words, but what do you expect out of a republican.

    July 16, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. notfooledtx

    Mr. Graham continues to show his ignorance. He was so condescending to Ms. Sotomayor earlier this week when he was questioning her temperment. He was talking to her like she was retarded.

    Lindsey the closet queen is just trying to show he has some kohones I guess – I bet she's got bigger ones than he does!! And she's a heck of a lot smarter than he is too.

    He's been rude and childish, and frankly an embarrassment along with the other repubicans.

    July 16, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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