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. sarahinfla

    It's interesting how the good ole boys can't handle it when they see individuals take oppurtunities that life hands them and actually do something positive with it.

    The real issue for republicans is that they see people that they think of as beneath them achieving things they themselves have failed to acheive and probably never will acheive.

    The next thing repubs will be saying is "we allowed her to be confirmed" for there own ego's.

    July 16, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. mike,texas

    He lives in a rich white boy bubble.Thats why he dosent understand the comments coming from a poor latino woman where the odds where against her from the beginning.The republicans dont get it,and cant get it when you live in an elitist bubble.Lindsey Graham is an example of being out of touch with reality and the common man.

    July 16, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Chris - Denver

    Stay classy, GOP.

    July 16, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Candy West Virginia

    Tolerance, open mindedness and compassion are all qualities that offend the GOP.

    July 16, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. IndyVoter

    DUH! Her speeches bug the hell out of you because you are not a minority or a woman. So you have no clue where she could possibly be coming from in those speeches...bad choice of words aside.

    July 16, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. addon

    Lindsey, open mouth insert foot!

    July 16, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. carl

    Lindsey and the rest of the GOP senators messed up big time during these hearings. They came across as a bigoted party representing one demographic.

    They didn't even realize that the microscope was on them rather than Sotomayor. The GOP failed miserably once again.

    July 16, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. Really?

    These hearings are just another opportunity for another of many wise Latinas to educate the uneducated old white men. Minorities are constantly educating old white men.

    While some white men have gone to ivy league schools because their parents knew someone to get them in, they were too busy drinking and screwing to learn anything so...therefore, we minorities continue to educate them. Sad, but true.

    July 16, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. Dr. Bob

    Graham, Colburn, Sessions and most of the southern so-called conservative Republicans are nothing more than closet (sometimes open) racists. Keep at it guys and kiss the Republican party goodbye.

    July 16, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. Ben in Texas

    I laughed listening to Graham badger Sotomayor about her evaluation, in which she was accused of badgering lawyers in her court. He didn't get the irony, and she didn't falter once. It would have been nice for her to point out the irony to Graham and the rest of the world, though.

    Another thing Graham tried to get her with was whether she would be influenced by her experiences and beliefs as a Latina. Here's what I wish she had answered:

    "Senator, do your Christian experiences and beliefs ever influence your vote in the senate?"

    If he had answered "Yes", he would be admitting to bias and to doing just what he was trying to get her to admit. If he had answered "No", he would have angered his evangelical buddies, who after all think this country should be run as a Christian dictatorship, with every vote determined by their distorted view of their own scriptures.

    July 16, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. Sammy

    Actually, Graham does NOT bug the hell out of me. I like him, despite his obvious pull to the right. If you really listen to what he's saying, he is conceding that he doesn't know everything. He is honestly stating that Sotomayor is not the gremlin that others in his party are trying to paint her as.

    Go back and look at some of what he has said since the election. He isn't out there questioning Obama's citizenship, or calling for a broad-based rejection of his policies. When Graham talks, he seems to be saying: "Look - I don't agree with everything that you do. I might not even agree with MOST of what you do. But I have respect for you, and I'm willing to try some things to see if maybe I was wrong."

    Maybe I'M the crazy one - but I wouldn't necessarily hate having him as my legislator. He seems to be able to learn things.

    July 16, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. Tami

    Just an FYI to all you undereducated people: HISPANIC IS AN ETHNENTICITY, NOT A RACE so her remark cannot be construed as RACIST!!!!

    July 16, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. Candy West Virginia

    Dave, the truth teller – typical hateful, ignorant, racists, neanderthal rethuglican who wouldn't know the truth if God himself told it to you. Bet you carry a bible while your heart is wrapped in hate, dont'cha? Betcha thought bush was a great pres didnt'cha? You betcha!

    July 16, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Marc

    Dave, the truth teller – And your pathetic attempt to make fun with your political prejudice is even more predictable.

    July 16, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Patty

    REALLY?

    I cant wait until I am a minority so I can lay around all day and whine about not getting a job that I wasnt qualified for in the first place, then I will get on welfare and suck up YOUR dollars, then I will use YOUR dollars to go to an all white college and when I am not spending YOUR money I will watch White Entertainment Television while waiting for White History Month or WHITE IN AMERICA , but by then I am guessing you and your kids will have spent social security into the ground and

    July 16, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. Jamie from Riverside

    and Lindsey Graham's effeminate whine bugs the hell out of me.
    When is this poof going to come out already?

    July 16, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. Super MOD

    The Democrats on this board need to be charged with hate crimes. They constantly oppress free speach by telling anyone who disagrees with them to shut up and call people racist and bigots because they raise questions about their beliefs. I work hard for my paycheck and will do everything in my power to prevent all of the democratic maggots from using it so they do not have to pay for health care or their mortgage. I will not sit by and be quiet anymore.

    July 16, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. Patty

    the prisons will be too full for me to experience a life of crime...Yep, I cant wait to be a minority 🙂

    July 16, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. IndyVoter

    @Dave-the-truth-teller:

    Your comments are so sad. Do you really think that your calling someone a 'lib monkey' is any more mature or intelligent than the so-called liberals that you are criticizing? What kind of person talks like that. If I were in your face would you really call me a "lib monkey"? I highly doubt it. Calling someone a monkey, idiot, crazy, etc. (and I mean on either side of the aisle) is inconsiderate and childish. You can be displaying a hateful attitude w/o being an idiot. Or you may disagree with liberal policies, but that doesn't make them monkeys. Grow up!

    July 16, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. Fla.

    Rick CT,

    How soon forgotten, indeed. Republicans were somehow tame during Pres. Bush's nominees?? Does "nuclear option" ring a bell?

    The GOP wanted to change rules for the filibuster to force through Bush's picks. Remember? It was hardly "tame."

    July 16, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Erick in AL

    Lindsey should go be with his guy! That was a rude comment to make to somesface. He said it like she is alwasy talking about crazy stuff. He doesn't know her like that. He bugs the hell outta me! And I'm unfourtaunate that Jeff Sessions is my senator from Alabama. He has doen racist things that are in the news while he is all over her case about a comment. Ask him about his civil rights comment.

    July 16, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. Reality

    Melissa,

    Thank you for proving my point. In all your shrill cawing and name-calling, you never once addressed my point.

    July 16, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. Arron

    I think Sotomayor will be an effective check against conservative judicial activism.

    July 16, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. Gary

    Her speechs bug me to. Her speeches sound mildly sexist and racist. do we really think that she is the best candidate for the supreme court?

    July 16, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. Michigan

    Graham and his underhanded sexism "bug the hell out of me." He is a slimy Southern politician who is being upstaged by this remarkably intelligent woman. She is calm, answers the questions, and gets in a zinger, too. I really like her. She will be an asset to the Court, and has shown herself to be wise, articulate, and smarter than the questioners. Go Sonia! I think she would make a great President!

    July 16, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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