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. Fair is Fair

    Is she qualified to hold the seat? Yes.

    Is she the best that was available? No.

    Was it a political appointment? Absolutely.

    July 17, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. Bob in Pa

    Her testimony has been very good, too bad it doesn't always match her historical actions.

    July 17, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. Tennessee Libertarian

    No surprise, Lugar has been a RINO for a long time now.

    July 17, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. good, thank you

    she is very deserving of your support

    July 17, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. Howard

    Lugar is obviously a weak spineless putz who has waited until Sotomayor appears to be assured confirmation, before he publicly endorses her ... while completely disregarding the testimony of the two fire fighters, which clearly illustrates the fact that Sotomayor is not capable of interpreting the spirit, intent, and justice of our laws ... which is exactly what a supreme court justice is chosen to do. Choosing Sotomayor is obviously an act of pandering to the hispanic voters for political advantage, and has nothing to do with honesty, fair play, or what's best for the American people !!!

    July 17, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. I can see Canada from my house!

    I suggest we nominate Rush for the SCOTUS: we've never had an overweight, arrogant, drug-addicted college dropout on the Court, and we desperately need that perspective.

    In all seriousness, its encouraging that Lugar has come out in favor of Sotomayor, and Hatch and Graham are leaning that way.

    July 17, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. S Callahan

    I wouldn't be surprised if most Repubs support her confirmation...if they did the research...which they or their aides probably did.....they propbably feel pretty comfortable in supporting her. She is qualified and will do well in this role (lol...you know, one can say..she was born for this role).

    July 17, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. Shucks

    Congratulations to Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor.

    July 17, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. citizenjane

    If this past week showed America anything it has shown that the leaderless GOP is running on scared. The good old boy white club is being dismantled, one brick at a time.

    Perhaps the party of do nothing is finally realizing that doing nothing is synonymous with going nowhere?

    By forcing themselves into a corner they have no alternative but to resort to rants, tirades, lies, and indignation. Unfortunately for the GOP, America is finally beginning to shake off the lethargy of the past 8 years, and in doing so, demanding answers as to how we as a country got where we are today, and why.

    The GOP ran plumb out of answers.

    July 17, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. Greg in AR

    As a former resident of Indiana, I am pleased to see at least ONE Republican with some common sense....Thank You Mr. Lugar.

    July 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Jill-IN

    Thank you, Senator Lugar!
    from an Indiana citizen.

    July 17, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. Doug, New Jersey

    Notice liberal Democrats have denied far more mainstream latinos nominated by Bush than Sotomayor.

    If Republicans were to use Obama's reasoning for voting against Roberts, they would be chastised by the left and their media lapdogs as racist and partisan.

    As it shows, liberal Democrats are the kings of partisanship, hate, and hypocrasy. You would be hard pressed to find just one Democrat in America who has not adopted the very anti-American Democrat double standards that are based off of hate and closed mindedness. Its funny but due to the way almost all Democrats are today, the Republican party is now the party of tolerance and respect for different views and beliefs. It is now the real big tent party in America, that is if you go solely by the facts and truth, two things about as foreign to a liberal Democrat as can be. To find a Democrat that is truthful and goes by the facts is as likely as finding a Manorah in Osama's cave.

    July 17, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. John H.

    Senator Lugar is a wise man. Those who oppose Sotomayor's confirmation are ignorant of the facts.

    July 17, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. Dominic

    You have my respect as always, thanks for care for this country. You are a decent politician.

    July 17, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. DJ, CA

    His statement shows that Senator Lugar is open-minded and a person who is willing to be fair. Judge Sotomayor did a fabulous job after four days of being grilled by the GOP. She came out smelling like a rose and she deserves to be on the court.

    I'd love to send some flowers, but what color do you send to a female justice?

    Kudos to Senator Lugar and kudos to Justice Sotomayor.

    July 17, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  16. Fla.

    I have always had great respect for Senator Lugar. He is one of the very few Republicans left in my former GOP that votes his conscience, not just party.

    July 17, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I thought that there was another one that had said he/she would have voted for her. It is nice to see that she will get some support from both sides of the isle.

    July 17, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Were going to bake him a cake and even invite uncle Steve the real one.Real what?hahaha

    July 17, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Kellen

    Who cares? The whole GOP is against her – he's likely backing her because the GOP knows they can't stop the appointment, so he probably figured 'I'll play ball.'

    July 17, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. You lose all credibility when you say Palin is smart

    Everytime Doug, New Jersey comments, my face turns red from embarrassment at the fact that he hails from the same state that I do.

    Doug, based on your last comments about Democrats wanting to kill Palin, you have no credibility and your comments merely show that you pick and choose what you want to see and hear.

    Please, take the New Jersey off your name. You are an embarrassment and even Republicans on this site agree with me.

    Stick to facts, not dribble.

    July 17, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. Rob Johnson

    If she has Lugar's vote, she is as good as confirmed.

    There are plenty of Republicans more liberal than Lugar, and if she gets his vote, she can expect plenty of others, as well as just about every Democrat.

    I'd put the over-under at 68 votes for Sotomayor. I wonder what Vegas has to say about this?

    July 17, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. You lose all credibility when you say Palin is smart

    Fair is Fair,

    When was the last time a President appointed a SCOTUS thats was not a political appointment?

    Answer: Never. This isn't the first and it won't be the last. You should only have a problem with it when the judge is unqualified, not when it's someone you don't like.

    July 17, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. John

    Mr. Lugar,

    Rush Limbaugh Hates You.

    You are not a True Republican.

    You have sided with Democrats.

    Now will come a Barrage of Nonsense Comments from Rush Limbaugh.

    Get Ready 😛

    July 17, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. Rob

    He doesn't represent the Republican train of thought.She is partial to the Mexican population;her views on abortion do not follow the Democratic Party platform.

    July 17, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. washwoman from Texas

    Im smarter than her and I did get nominated.

    July 17, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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