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Graham Becomes First Judiciary Republican to Back Sotomayor

By Ben Pershing
Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) announced today that he would support Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court, making him the first Judiciary Committee Republican to do so and potentially paving the way for several more GOP senators to back her.

Saying that "elections have consequences," Graham explained on the Senate floor: "I would not have chosen her if I had made this choice as president. But I understand why President Obama did choose her, and I'm happy to vote for her."

Graham's position on Sotomayor has been closely watched, because he drew attention from conservatives and liberals alike for his sharp questioning of the nominee during her confirmation hearings last week, even while holding out the possibility that he might support her in the end. Graham and Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa) -- who has not yet signaled his intentions -- have been seen as the most likely Republicans on the panel to back Sotomayor, and some Senate analysts believe their "aye" votes might persuade several more Republicans who are on the fence to come down in favor of the nominee.

Graham is the fifth Republican overall to announce his support for Sotomayor. Several more have said they would vote against her confirmation, including Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.), a Judiciary panel member who announced his opposition today. The committee is scheduled to vote on Sotomayor next Tuesday, and the full Senate should consider her before recess begins Aug. 7.

By Ben Pershing  |  July 22, 2009; 3:51 PM ET
Categories:  Senate , Supreme Court  
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Comments

Right-wing trolls gathering to descend upon blog in order to denounce Graham as a RINO Commie pinko in 5, 4, 3, 2...

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 22, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"Elections have consequences".

Yes they do. And WE LOVE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE LAST ELECTION IN WHICH WE ELECTED PRESIDENT OBAMA IN A LANDSLIDE!

The positive consequences of the election for America are why the American electorate REJECTED republican-religious-fundamentalist-neoconservative lies, greed, theft, immorality, unethical behavior, treason (ok that was only Dick Cheney and his aids outing covert CIA agents) and bribe solicitations to and from lobbyists.

We want the same health care that congress gets.

We want a moderate, non-ideological, non-theocratic, supreme court of non-partisan professionals.

We want an end to government crimes against the constitution.

We want the criminal republican NEOCONS, religious fundamentalists, and their criminal enablers (like John Yoo, Bybee, Addington, Cheney, et al) who wrote the torture memos in prison when they've broken the law

Posted by: onestring | July 22, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Graham has smarts, guts and morality, all traits which are almost nom-existent in the "R" party these days. The big question now is whether Mr. Sessions, the Senator from Alabama who seems more obsessed with race than the so-called "liberals" he has repeatedly attacked, and who has delayed this vote for inexplicable reasons, will finally act to reject the stereotype of the white male seccessionist and vote for what's in the best interest of the UNION, not an ever-shrinking, angry and bitter constituency still sulking about 1865.

Posted by: pookiecat | July 22, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

LET'S SEE, LIBS CRITICIZE A GOP NOMINEE AND THAT IS FREE AND OPEN DEBATE, BUT AN AMERICAN WHO DARES QUESTION A DEMOCRAT NOMINEE IS A "TROLL" ..GEE, I GET IT.
While I would prefer not to have an intellectually unqualified product of affirmative-action appointments to college, law school and eventually the bench (by her own admission ) as a Supreme Court Justice, I can almost see Graham's point. The Dems were wrong to oppose the appointment of our first Hispanic Justice a well as their racist attempt to lynch Justice Thomas when he failedd to "be a good boy" and "remember his place", but the GOP would be as wrong as the Democrats if it mimicked their conduct.
Will Rogers (back when Americans had a sense of humor) once opined that "Sometimes the best way to win an argument with a fool is to let him win."
Maybe the public needs to see Sotomayor pick and choose one favored race or politically chic group over another, equally deserving, group because, as a "wise latina", she has the God-like power to make one group "more equal" than another.
After all, liberals believe in a command society where the anointed nomenklatura lead the great-unwashed like a herd of cattle. Obama-nazis have decreed that the old and the seriously ill should not receive health care because saving or prolonging lives is not "cost effective". Now the national socialists have their "wise latina" femi-nazi on the Court. Welcome to the brave new world, and goodbye America.

Posted by: MARKM2 | July 22, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

MARKM2
While I would prefer not to have an intellectually unqualified product of affirmative-action appointments to college, law school and eventually the bench... as a Supreme Court Justice...

Did you also oppose Clarence Thomas' nomination?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 22, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

kyl isnt voting against the judge.hes voting no just because he can.he has no care about right and wrong just rep vs dem like its a game.poor sick minded man.

Posted by: donaldtucker | July 22, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

GRAHAMNESTY SAYS IT ALL.SC-MBAG. WHY DOES HE CALL HIMSELF A REP.JUST LIKE 'ARLENE'SPECTOR.BE A MAN ADMIT TO BEING A SMILING JACKASS TRAITOR.SPINELESS WORM.

Posted by: BECKER662 | July 22, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

No big surprise at all, as I already predicted that Sotomayor would get at least 77 votes for confirmation.

Posted by: JakeD | July 22, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Well, Becker, it could be because Sen. Graham is a Republican. It's true he's not one of the fire breathing, rage-filled, militia type radicals that have taken over the GOP, but there's a lot more to Republicanism (like, say, the first 125 years of it) than fear and hatred.

Posted by: benjaminanderson | July 22, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

77 sounds about right, JakeD. Should be higher, but such is the state of partisan politics.

Posted by: benjaminanderson | July 22, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

benjaminanderson:

I said "at least" (so it could be more in the end). Did you see the Sotomayor Confirmation Pool thread?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/morning-fix/071709morning-fix-winners-and.html

Posted by: JakeD | July 22, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I skimmed it, JakeD. It's not like most of us are going to change our minds, lol.

Posted by: benjaminanderson | July 22, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Do we really care what these Republican bozo's think on this issue?. They have really become irrelevant with their whiney little buitts complaining about everything these days.

I'd like to see them all go home for a 365 day vaction back in their home states. We promise to keep sending you a pay check. Just stay out of the way is all we ask. Can you do at least that much???

Posted by: patrick10 | July 22, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

His fellow knuckledraggers are going to be angry!
Maybe they will sh!tcan him next election?

lOL lol lol lol

Posted by: kase | July 22, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

The Senators on the Judicial Committee handle their role badly: Democrats automatically support Sotomayor while Republicans cast doubt on her suitability.

Presumably, the Committee's consideration should be confined to substantive issues such as competence and prior judicial behaviour. However, because the enquiry has taken place in the absence of clear guidelines it has the appearance of being irrational and subject to capricious behaviour.

Although some Senators talk about the rule of law it seems to me that they are unable to understand it or implement it.

Posted by: robertjames1 | July 22, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

It's time to put this to rest, nominate Judge Sotomayor's and get on to other work in Congress.

Posted by: shipfreakbo214 | July 22, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I would hope that a wise white man with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a
brown woman who hasn't lived that life.

Racism?

Posted by: Beldar2 | July 22, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

MarkM2,

You appear to confuse intelligence with agreement with your position. It takes significant intellectual dishonesty to not recognize the difference. While affirmative action may have helped Judge Sotomayor get into Princeton, it could not have helped her graduate summa cum laude (with HIGHEST honors), even in spite of the fact that she was far behind some of her peers in educational level because of a distinct lack of opportunity. Obviously the ability was there, since she not only caught up, but exceeded the abilities of most of her peers at Yale. It also could not have helped her become an editor on the Yale Law Review (quite a feat and reserved for very intelligent students who are excellent writers).

If you watched the confirmation hearings with an open mind, you would have seen that she is extremely intelligent and quite capable, even if you disagree with her views. After all, intelligent judges disagree about what is right and wrong all the time, but that is simply a difference in perspective, not a difference in intelligence.

Posted by: shenoya | July 22, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

CORRECTION: most of her peers at Princeton. My apologies for the typo.

Posted by: shenoya | July 22, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Senator Graham is doing what he should; looking at the candidate and the qualifications and making a decision. What some of you people in this comment section are doing is just plain stupid. I'm talking about you people hatefully bashing Republicans or anyone who disagrees with the Democrats. Although Judge Sotomayer is qualified beyond a doubt, IF she had been a Euro-American and had made a statement about European Americans being wiser than a Latina (I think you call that WHITE SUPREMECY) she would have been rejected IMMEDIATELY. But she is a Latina and you people apparently don't have a problem with LATINO SUPREMECY as LONG AS SHE IS A DEMOCRAT. So she was right: A Latina woman with the richness of her life's experiences is about to get a bunch of white guys to say it's alright to be a racial bigot; as long as you are not WHITE. So she said it was bad wording, I hope next time she rules from the bench she is a little more niggardly with her wording.

Posted by: dsroper | July 23, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

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