July 17th, 2009
11:08 AM ET
14 years ago

Lugar becomes first Republican to back Sotomayor

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/17/art.lugar.gi.jpg caption="Lugar is backing Sotomayor. "]

(CNN) - Indiana Republican Dick Lugar Friday announced he intends to vote for Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court, becoming the first senator in his party to formally state support for President Obama's pick to the high court.

"I have listened to the testimony of Judge Sonia Sotomayor before the Senate Judiciary Committee, carefully reviewed her public service record, and reviewed recommendations from Indiana constituents and colleagues here in the Senate," Lugar said in a statement.

"Judge Sotomayor is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and she has demonstrated a judicial temperament during her week-long nomination hearing. Judge Sotomayor has had a distinguished career of public service," he also said. "She is well regarded in the legal community and by her peers. I will vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States."

While Sotomayor's confirmation appears all but certain, it remains unclear exactly how many Republicans will support the current appeals court judge when her nomination comes up for a vote on the floor.

In the Judiciary Committee, where Sotomayor will face the first vote on her nomination, at least two Republicans have suggested they will support her - Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Orrin Hatch of Utah. That vote could come as early as next week.

- CNN's Evan Glass contributed to this report

Filed under: Dick Lugar • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. renea

    Yes for political reasons!

    July 17, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Ken in NC

    Well it is refreshing to know that no one requested to see the original of her Birth Certificate. WOW

    July 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. tennisguypitt

    Senator Lugar is a fairly moderate Republican who does have the views that would be electable for POTUS, not like any of the right wing persons like Huckabee or Palin.

    The GOP needs a moderate as a spokesperson, not these ultra-conservatives. I am a firm believer in the two-party system. (By the way, this is coming from a moderate Dem who does vote the other party.)

    July 17, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. Davey

    The problem with Sotomayor is what she believes inside, we have seen a brief glimpse of those race and gender biased beliefs revealed in her speeches and in her activist roles in special interest organizations.
    She can believe whatever she wants to believe in. You don't think Sessions and Graham believe one thing while trying to porttray something else? Here was a hispanic woman being grilled by all white males on a comment that most Americans could relate to regardless of race. It was ok to say " Puerto Rican commrade" and the "crack cocaine" comment- which very well could have offended minorities, but it was totally ok and acceptable. People have biases, that will never change. As long as it does not get in the way of doing her job, I think Sotomayo will make a good justice.

    July 17, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. Pat

    "Republicans are the Taliban"??? Just that name screams of hate. Please tell me where you work at so I will not send business your way. Most of the name calling here sounds racist in the first place. If you replace "liberal/democrat" or "conservative/republican" with any Minority name, it sounds the same. Hate is hate. I think I will start asking every store I visit whether they server Republicans because I guess my money isn't wanted there based on the comments. She has had an easy hearing compared to many appointments because the minority party just uses it as an opportunity to be ugly.

    July 17, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. mike,texas

    Wow,another smart republican.This could be contagious.Not

    July 17, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. CitizenAJ

    Lugar is smart! He is playing this like a TYPICAL politician. Everyone and his brother knows what assigning this post to a minority woman means, that minority is going to vote for the party of the assigner. In this case, President Obama and the democrats. The Hispanic vote could be ALL LOCKED UP for the 2010 and 2012 elections. Lugar is jumping on the populace bandwagon, something he did in last year's election year, showing his constituents that he can be bi-partisan. He hails from a state that went blue! Do the math folks.

    I am having a ball watching the republicans squirm. They are being beat at their own game but the democrats are playing the game better than they did. They are not calling their political competitors terrorist sympathizers, anti-American or saying they live in the "anti-American" parts of the country (Sarah Palin). No, they are doing it by being accepting of people's differences. Enough said.

    July 17, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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