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. Terry

    Patty, you nailed it!!! I for one am looking for another country to live in. Maybe I can go to Mexico and get on welfare...oops I forgot they don't have welfare there...that's why they are all here. That's a real dump any way.

    Sotomayor is a racist cow and just got caught being her self. Obama needs to do his home work next time if he is going to continue to try to come off as not be a racist with an agenda.

    July 16, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. puzzled

    It sounds like Senator Graham's hood was on too tight for too long.
    He seems to purposely ignore that non-"racial" in America has always been skewed to promote a Eurocentric "white" culture while denying any others. Would it "annoy" him less if Sotomayor never refers to the positive influences and resources of her Latina heritage? Was Sen. Graham also annoyed by any other SCOTUS nominee whose speeches referred to the influences of their ethnic heritage? Mr. Graham should put on his cloth dunce cap and go stand in a corner.

    July 16, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. videodrome

    Oh, geez, now Graham is trying to say that Sotomayor is now "mainstream".
    Good grief, all this yap over nothing.

    I'm white and it just BUGS ME how other white people like this Graham make the rest of us look bad.

    July 16, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. FactCheck

    Lib monkeys like to think of themselves as elite, educated, monkeys.
    -----–

    Dear Dave... I'm sorry that we educated liberals bother you so much. Maybe if you put down the moonshine, stop hitting on your first cousin, finish primary school and get a job, you could join the rest of us in an adult conversation. Otherwise, go back to playing your Xbox.

    July 16, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Randolph Carter

    Dave, the truth teller, truth is we're all monkeys. Liberal and conservative alike. Or perhaps you believe that the big invisible man in the sky created everything 6,000 years ago. Or maybe Devo were right all along: God made man but the monkey supplied the glue. Have a nice day!

    July 16, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. Michigan

    @Dave the truth (sic) teller:

    You are one sick guy. Every single Democrat I know is working, has a home that they can afford, and helps others. What about you? Do your parents get Medicare (on our dime?) Social Security (on our dime?) Have you ever lost a job and gotten unemployment? For God's sake, stop calling people names and make a positive comment or two. No one except the right calls our President Chosen. We elected him because he is intelligent, educated, and articulate. He has good ideas for this country, which will take time to work. We don't agree with all his decisions (I want troops home NOW) but we are giving him time and space.
    Funny how those of us who saw GWB for the liar and schemer he was were called "traitor" and "anti-American" for years, and now you guys say anything you want, and no one is calling for you to leave the US. Could it be the left really IS more tolerant?

    July 16, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. Crazy Harry

    What an embarrassment to our country having a joker like Graham as a representative of our government.

    Hopefully the world community will discount him for the idiot he is.

    July 16, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. General Sherman fromthegrave

    @Dave.I second the motion.hahaha

    July 16, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Sherri

    Sen. Graham and his cronies should be censured for their blatant disrespect for Judge Sotomayor both as a jurist and a woman.

    What arrogance! The glass ceiling remains intact. Let's not have a Supreme Court that reflects the fabric of our country. I would suspect, if in a situation where Sen. Graham and pals might be in the position of presenting a case before Judge Sotomayor she would be much more respectful and professional in discharging her duties than they have been.

    You can almost smell the fear in the room- fear that they will be seen for what they are- shallow and totally unaware of the real world.

    Shame on them.

    July 16, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Dave

    And hicks like Graham and Sessions bug the hell out of me!

    July 16, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Chipster

    Taken out of context, I'm certain that many statements can be considered disturbing. In the context of her speech and her audience, it was an encouragement that any person is capable of making good decisions if they are wise, educated, experienced, prepared.

    These people know that so why are they continuing to make such fools of themselves over this? I can only guess that they are not wise, or prepared. With each repetition, they are showing that they have nothing more or substantial to offer.

    July 16, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. makesUwonder

    Mike, Syracuse, NY July 16th, 2009 12:45 pm ET

    @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.
    ---------------------------

    Mike...........AMEN

    July 16, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. RI Moderate

    Suppose that any white male up for confimation had said (numerous times) "I would hope that a wise white man with the richness of his experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion".

    That would be a very troubling statement and would almost certainly sink their nomination.

    July 16, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. SlowGun

    @Mike, Syracuse, NY July 16th, 2009 12:45 pm ET

    @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.

    ----------------------------

    Mike, does it make life easier for you to stereotype people this way?
    Are liberals uninformed because they don’t watch Fox News or listen to Rush?

    July 16, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. Ted

    Awwww. poor conservatives. babies. All of George Bush's speeches bugged the hell out of me and disturbed me. How about that, Lindsay?

    July 16, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. Sick -n- Tired

    And the entire Republican Party "Bug's the hell" out alot of people! So what's your point?

    July 16, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. Will

    Jon in CA –

    Careful with accusing someone of not speaking correctly. Bush clearly showed his lack of understanding of the English language. Perhaps, even, Sotomayor simply pronounces various vowels and syllables a little differently than you do and you misheard her.

    July 16, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. Jacob

    Sen Graham bugs the hell out of a lot us!
    what a jerk!

    July 16, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. carlos

    if he should take a course in perfecting his english pronounciation, and out of respect: GET off your fat ass when speaking to a lady.....southerners after all, that Kyl guy also without a jacket....I guess it is the gop decorum

    July 16, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. Enoch

    The double standards and hypocrisy of the left never ends. She is a racist and her judicial record is dismal at best. Her writings are no better than that of law students right out of City College. I guess the great orator & lousy leader Obama thinks SCOTUS is a great place for her to find a mentor and learn.

    July 16, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. Mike in MN

    Her comments bug the hell out of me too!
    There is no stopping her nomination unless Dems vote against her and they will not.
    Her record as a judge indicates she is fit for the Supreme court. Her comments out side of her functioning as a judge indicate she is not.
    What she has done as a judge should hold more water than her comments out side of her functioning as a judge.
    But Obama voted against two equaly qualified judges as a Senator. My hope is a large number of Republicans will vote against her based on the danger her comments bring to the Supreme Court.

    July 16, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. RH

    She can talk for the rest of her life about what she 'meant,' but it will never change what she said (several times). What I find really disturbing about all of this is the vast number of people so terrified of being labeled racist that they are willing to gloss over and explain away an obviously racist remark made by a minority. If a white man had stood before all those people and said that a white man would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a latina woman, he would have been crucified by all of the same people now defending Sotomayor. There's a word for that...

    July 16, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. STFU Sotomayer

    Not olny is Sotomayer a la raza queen she is also gender biased. She makes David Dukes look like mother Theresa.

    July 16, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Jeff

    What would happen if a white male would make a comment about a latina woman. He would be considered a racist. But it is ok for her. Racism is racism no matter which race does it.

    July 16, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. RB

    Republicans are not racists and continuing to spew this heinous lie does not make it true!

    July 16, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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