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. pat c

    lindsey graham is a bully! he looks like a fool repeating himself over an over. I THINK HE IS SCARED AND INTIMIDATED OF JUDGE SOTOMAYOR....WHAT A QUIVELLING LITTLE MAN HE IS!!!

    July 16, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. JOHNSON oklahoma muskogee

    Thank God the old rep.guard can see their days are numbered and they just want media time and the idiot from oklahoma coburn set your;e tired butt in the corner please .You showed the world just how stupid you are and the people of oklahoma that still vote you in

    July 16, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. videodrome

    Graham, we tired of your emotional outbursts and your endless spew.
    Keep your feelings to yourself.

    July 16, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. Bill

    This thing bugs the hell out of me.

    July 16, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Dave

    I guess she is to the judicial what Joe Biden is to the executive branch. She's solid but spouts off at the mouth and sticks her big foot in it.

    July 16, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    notfooledtx called the senator a "closet queen".

    No one from the GLBT "community" going to take exception to such a lable?

    July 16, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. John

    Graham, your voice bugs the hell out of me!!

    July 16, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. Not Fit To Be A Senator

    If what she has said "bugs the hell" out of Lindsay Graham then I say she has been PERFECT.

    He, like the other republicans on the panel have acted DISHONORABLY. I'm ashamed of them at a national level.

    July 16, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Jim

    more party of no republicans. if all they can come up with is that her speeches bug them ... well ... I just have to wonder why they are even bringing that trivial, non-issue up.

    July 16, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. Reality

    At least you know where Republicans stand. Get a Democrat to give an actual answer? Good luck!

    July 16, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. cool dad

    the Republicans of the GOp bug the hell out of America!!!

    July 16, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. JA/TN

    looking who's talking, the GOP reigned for eight years polictican allowed the likes off Madoff and Stanford terrorism to be exacted upon America, yes terrorists without the sterotyped turbin and beard

    July 16, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. B

    Anything said by anyone other than white, conservative/narrow-minded men bugs the hell out of this fool, Graham and his fellow uptights from the south...and that's coming from me, a white male. Although since these bigots became more vocal, there is no way I'd ever associate myself with conservatives. In fact, I vote the other way simply out of spite for them. Good luck in years to come, GOP....tell the dinosaurs and Dodo bird I said hello.

    July 16, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @Melissa, do you even READ the comments by Democrats? I started following this blog during the elections and always thought liberals were just well intentioned but uninformed people. It took reading their hateful comments to make me realize that I was wrong. They are destructive, hateful people who would rather bash the right than actually fix anything.

    July 16, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. Rick CT

    How quickly we forget the contentious hearings when Bush put forth his nominees. The Reps are tame compared to what we saw. I'm just waiting for someone to read Obama's 5% speech when he said he would vote against Roberts despite pronouncing him fully qualified and a true legal scholar.

    July 16, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Eric`

    GO OBAMA-

    Now he picked an African American as Surgeon General... GOOD MOVE BROTHER.... let's watch the GOP BASE SCREAM LIKE LITTLE GIRLS. What Obama is doing America is quite brilliant. He is picking qualified minorities in strategic positions, which is wonderful to see and he is letting the GOP show their true colors... RACIST!!!! They keep bitting because it is their TRUE way of life... THEY DO NOT KNOW ANY DIFFERENT... TOTAL IGNORANCE...

    VOTE THEM OUT!!!!!!! BLOG EVERYONE YOU KNOW.... VOTE THEM OUT IN 2010... HAVEN'T YOU ALL SEEN ENOUGH TO KNOW HOW VERY VERY VERY WRONG THE GOP IS FOR AMERICA?

    July 16, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Luke Brown

    It is amazing how rich white men feel so threatened that someone not like them might be in a position of power.

    Lindsay, white men have ruled this country for centuries. The rule this country today. The thing that should be "bugging" you is the fact that most Americans are NOT rich white men, most Americans who pay taxes are NOT rich, white, men, and most people who fight and die in our wars are NOT rich, white, men.

    Buddy, you've been living in a plantation state waaaaay too long.

    White men in the South think that they have lost so much power to all these women and people of color. In fact, they have lost very little. If Lindsay was black and female he would be howling at all the injustices he has to endure.

    July 16, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. Phat Elvis

    its so funny, the gop opposition is unraveling their own case against Sotomayor. they say she speaks from the left but has judged cases from the mainstream. Seems to me that judging from the mainstream is what counts as QUALIFIED.

    July 16, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  19. Reformed Republican

    Of course she "bugs the hell" out of him – Unlike when Graham and the rest of the dixiecons were growing up in SC he can't lynch her for being a minority and speaking intelligently.
    Bummer hey Lindsey baby?!? Welcome to the 21st century – now go home, read your bible with the Gov and your "spiritual advisors" and out of the way of progressive evolution.

    July 16, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. Charlotte

    At least, unlike many of the right-wingnut posters on this blog, the Senator has the intelligence and perspective to admit that Sotomayor's rulings are mainstream and there is little that either side could complain about. Nobody can question her credentials and qualifications so it comes down to whether they 'like' the slant of some previous advocacy? This is not supposed to be a factor in a decision about her fitness to judge and it looks like Graham at least recognizes it. That's a big step for a Republican. I'm impressed he is actually using rational thought. I wish some of you hateful posters would do the same.

    July 16, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. videodrome

    And yes, I am going to play the race card but for one reason only -
    I want to know how it has become a crime for a LEGAL hardworking Hispanic/Latino to be proud of their heritage when we have American Indians, African-Americans, French, Italians, Irish, British, Asian, Middle Eastern, German, etc. in this country throwing their festivals and being proud of their background. IN THIS COUNTRY, no less??

    And notice that many of these ethnic types that I mentioned include the beleagered WHITE people.

    Yes I do agree that ALL people should be judged according to their capabilities. But being proud of who you are and your ancestors is a personal issue, and the government should stay out of, and so should everyone else.

    July 16, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. I give up

    July 16th, 2009 12:33 pm ET

    melissa wrote:
    Why are Republicans always so nasty?

    Why because it is politics and when you have deal with the racebaiting, anti-business, divide and conquer democratic party, being nice will only get you run over.

    You get what you give. Get it?

    July 16, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. Melissa

    Reality, you bloody Republicans wouldn't know reality if it bit you on your butt. As evidenced by what you just said.

    July 16, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. You lose all credibility when you say Palin is smart

    I guess they think if they ask her enough times she will break down. I guess questioning Sotomayor's past cases is useless for the conservatives because even they have admitted that they were fair and even handed.

    So the next step is to bash her character.

    Good job, alienate hispanic voters. We will remember this come next year, and then you can change the subject to: Democrats have too many seats in Congress, and that's unAmerican!

    July 16, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. Dave, the truth teller

    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.

    July 16, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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