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. Jacob

    Who cares? They don't need any GOP votes.

    July 17, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. montag24

    It's reassuring to know that there's at least one voice of sanity left in the GOP. Good for you, Senator Lugar!

    July 17, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. Angus McDugan

    "Please re-elect me!" Yep, let's put on the smile and gather the voters.

    July 17, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Frank

    This shouldn't surprise anyone.

    Lugar has always been one of the Republicans who wanted to be taken seriously. I think that the Sotomayor nomination may be the touchstone for that going forward.

    If you opposed her, your opposition to future nominees would not be regarded as important.

    I predict that other Republicans will follow his lead rather quickly.

    July 17, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Randolph Carter

    Alright Dick. I didn't think you had it in you after you got booed off the stage while speaking at my college graduation. Have a nice day!

    July 17, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. anthony

    Thank YOu Lugar, at least one republican is not going to alienate the hispanic votes. because if the want any chance to get back into power they have to target the hispanic community.

    Which after this election was 70 percent voted for Obama. But i doubt with people like rush and newt, the decent repubicans wont be able to over shadow thier voices and lose more seat in the south western states

    July 17, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. RR

    Sotomayor doesn't agree with Gideon v Wainwright that the Bill of Rights applies to the states. She has said the 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to the states.

    She does NOT need to be confirmed

    July 17, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. Too True For You

    Holy crap – has he cleared this with Rush? He could be drummed out of the party for this transgression!

    July 17, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Besides for Colin Powell, Dick Lugar is probably one of the only republicans I have respect for.

    July 17, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. R in Maine

    Nice move! You demonstrate a remarkable ability to deal with reality.

    July 17, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Charles

    Sotomayor is well-qualified and they all know that. Her experience can truely bring different perspective in today's Supreme court.

    July 17, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. GI Joe

    Smart man – recognizes accomplishments in another person.

    Some people will vote against her because she is a woman, some will vote against her because she is Latina.

    July 17, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. Jon in CA

    Considering Indiana allows Gay Marriage.... this comes as no surprise.

    July 17, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. Gator

    Well he was not hard to fool was he?

    July 17, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. SlowGun

    How long before Rush says Lugar is not a "real" republican?

    July 17, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. Sam Sixpack

    It is a good thing this story popped up, otherwise, we would have to read all those negative comments (mysteriously deleted) about how the new health care bill will really be paid for by taxing employees for thier employer-provided health insurance. It will be biggest tax increase on the working class in our lifetimes - and you heard it first right here!

    July 17, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Hugo

    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. What happens when the Supreme Court succumbs to one ideological view of rule? If you like what is going on in our country where this is happening now with a total Democratic control over House, Senate and Whitehouse then you would love it, at least until you start paying for it. If you believe that our constitution is fairly clear in what it means and you are tired of lawyers manipulating the language to negate the intent of what is morally and ethically right then you will oppose her confirmation. I hope Dick Lugar and all other career politicians get their reward for bringing our Nation to it's knees in 2010!

    July 17, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  18. Bob

    You always hear of Republicans crossing party lines to vote on an issue or an appointment. But you never hear of any Democrats doing that. That tells me that Republicans are not one sided. Democrats vote along party lines and that's finale.

    July 17, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Carl

    Before the Republicans vote for her they must be soiling their pants.
    The Latinos will not vote for them for re-election if they don't vote for her.

    July 17, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. Steve (the real one)

    So liberal naysayers, take that! Your intense bias is just as sad as the intense bias in the GOP! There is good and bad in BOTH parties. I guess it is so much easier for you to only see the bad in the GOP rather than admit the bad in your party! Politics as usual!

    July 17, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. Republicans are the American Taliban

    But why won't anyone ask her about that " wise Latina " comment? Has any Republican thought about bringing in litigants she's ruled againt to testify as to how mean she is?? Republicans spit on her for three days then praise her??

    July 17, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Opie has the broom and I have my pitchfork ready for those who oppose her,hahaha,and Andy will take their names for further use.

    July 17, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. dominican mama 4 Obama

    The confirmation hearings were an embarrassment. The incessant interruptions to her answers; the same question asked over and over ad nauseum; the 'crack cocaine' 'Puerto Rican comrade' remarks. Unbelievable! I hope they were not televised overseas. It was not one of our best moments as a nation.

    July 17, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. johnnie

    Dick Lugar , is one of very (FEW) Republicans with (CLASS) he is a positive force, and by the way , gets along very well with President Obama.. He has laid it out very (simple) Judge Sotomayor has shown that ,she has the (QUALIFICATIONS ) to be the (NEXT) Supreme Court Justice. The (GOP) with their (nay-sayers) and grandstanding ,was a (disgrace) those (SENATORS) of the (GOP) should have put up a tent ,outside the hearing and said, Watch us (CLOWN)Dick Lugar is a example, of how their are (SOME) gop leaders ,that are not (MORONS). All of the (negative) Q and A came from , Oklahoma, Alabama, South Carolina, and Arizona does not even (COUNT)..Judge Sotomayor stood the (TEST) and was on (POINT) and made those other (SENATORS) look as (dumb) and (stupid) as they are. Cant wait to read the emails , from that idiotic (FOX FALSE NEWS CROWD) . Senator Lugar .you are (CHANGE) we can believe in..

    July 17, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. JA/TN

    Republicans does show signs of life, get with the program

    July 17, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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