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Sonia Sotomayor Gets The Best of Republican Senators

Sonia Sotomayor Gets The Best of Republican Senators

I suspect that Senator Lindsey Graham wouldn’t have a problem with the following anonymous comments about a male Supreme Court nominee and he certainly wouldn’t read them on national TV. In fact, he would probably congratulate him on his reputation for toughness.

After listening to the anonymous comments read aloud by Graham (who only mentions that lawyers had lots of good things to say about her as a judge, choosing not to read any of those), I couldn’t help but think that most of them sounded like the complaints of sore losers:

“She’s temperamental, excitable, she seems angry.”
“She’s overly aggressive, not very judicial.”
“She does not have a very good temperament.”
“She abuses lawyers.”
“She really lacks judicial temperament.”
“She behaves in an out of control manner.”
“She makes inappropriate outbursts.”
“She’s nasty to lawyers.”
“She will attack lawyers for making an argument she does not like.”
“She can be a bit of a bully.”

When the nominee is Sonia Sotomayor, the results are somehow different. Being a tough judge who challenges lawyers with tough questions becomes a “temperament problem.”

Not according to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg:

“Yes, the notion that Sonia is an aggressive questioner what else is new? Has anybody watched Scalia or Breyer up on the bench?”

In other words, get over it. Challenging lawyers is a judges right and responsibility. If she were Scalia or Breyer, her toughness wouldn’t be a temperament problem.

Graham was so determined to convince us that Sotomayor has a “temperament problem” that he was willing to dive into the trash heap and read anonymous statements on national TV to further smeared the reputation of a clearly respected judge. And if that wasn’t enough, Graham suggested that Sotomayor take some time for self-reflection on the issue.

I think it’s time for Graham and his colleagues to take some time for self-reflection because they can’t seem to stop acting like children and they’re doing it on our dime.

Today Sotomayor had to sit through Senator Sessions (denied a federal judgeship because of “disgraceful” behavior and statements) suggest that it would be better if all Puerto Rican judges ruled the same way, Senator Kyl becoming so carried away with his own rant that he forgot to ask her a question, and Senator Graham suggested that she, SHE has a temperament problem!

Are you serious?

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46 comments

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12:45PM PDT on Aug 15, 2009

Que bueno que la justicia haya vuelto a triunfar, y que la gente ya no le haga tanto caso a las mentiras de los racistas. Se que con el tiempo van a ver que Sonia Sotomayor es la persona ideal para ser magistrada de la corte suprema. Y que lo diga la gente!

9:22AM PDT on Aug 9, 2009

Not only minorities carrying their own banner of racism, he can sure pick some ugly folks! I'm very disappointed in Lindsay Graham especially, that he voted for her. I am very pleased with the ones that didn't. NO, she did not get the best of the Republicans. We'll see how it pans out. One thing for sure, I don't think she can be any worse than ginsburg or souter. I certainly hope not.

7:08AM PDT on Jul 26, 2009

To Carla Spencer, Ignorant? Your entire comment blasts of ignorance. This has nothing to do with an all white supreme court. You too are obviously racist. I was thrilled when Judge Clarence Thomas took a seat on that court. This has nothing to do with race, color, or ethnic background!! This has to do with her comments regarding our second ammendment rights, this has to do with her "using" her ethicnicity as her judgement while on the bench. The ONLY way any Justice should rule is in regards to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Nothing else matters!!

9:37AM PDT on Jul 25, 2009

I couldn't agree with you more, Emmie G. And, did you notice that remark that Lindsay Graham made to Sotomayor telling her that she would be confirmed if she didn't have a "meltdown"? Can you imagine him asking a male nominee that question? And, I am embarrassed that one of my own senators (Sen. Jon Kyl) sounded like a total moron, ranting and raving as though he had a point to prove. Well, he proved it all right! He is a white, bigoted, chauvinistic male, and deserves to be voted out of office. Hmm, I'm wondering how much his voting against her is going to hurt him in the next election. Our state has a lot of Latinos; so, that couldn't be very smart politics on his part. Yes, I believe that we are in good hands with President Obama and VP Joe Biden, but it seems like it is going to take a long time to overcome some of this narrow-minded thinking that has dominated our country and the "good ole boys" syndrome! I'm so tired of it.

10:19PM PDT on Jul 17, 2009

Sotomayor is an in-your-face anti-white-male BIGOT. That bigotry ALONE disqualifies ANYONE from public service. (Of course, Obama and Holder are also anti-white bigots: Obama referred to his grandmother as a "typical white person"; Holder dismissed charges against black panthers who insulted and intimidated white voters in Philly last Election Day).

This isn't about left versus right, but the common sense to reject BIGOTS regardless of their stripe.

Forty years ago, liberals GOT this concept. Apparently, they sure don't any more!!

9:41AM PDT on Jul 17, 2009

It's embarrassing hearing the questioning of the Republicans at the hearing. It amounts to nothing more the a bunch of narcissistic children indulging in masterbation. It's alright if a conservative justice legislates from the bench but if a more liberal justice does so it's a sin. All judges legislate and to pretend it's not so is the hight of hypocrisy.

8:59PM PDT on Jul 16, 2009

Wow, the Right's foot soldiers are really all over this one, aren't they?

They really seem to like this concept they're pushing about anyone they don't agree with as 'not believing in the constitution'. I guess it serves as a good alternative for their other stand-by--"Socialist!!".

2:49PM PDT on Jul 16, 2009

Maybe LIndsay Graham should do some reflecting on his family values. This whole thing is nothing more than another cheap attempt by conservatives to discredit successful women. I would like to see, just once, one of the bible toters tell a successful man he has an atttude problem, is tempermental or needs to reflect on their demeanor. Shame on you senator. Hopefully S Carolina will see you for what you are next election

2:27PM PDT on Jul 16, 2009

It gets so very exhausting hearing the same old crap spouted off by "good ol' boy" legislators against a woman who is nominated for a high level governmental position. Who among us remembers how Anita Hill was treated in the Clarence Thomas nomination process, when she accused him of sexual harrassment? Society is, unfortunately, STILL the same, after all these years of fighting for gender equality. Women who stand up for themselves are considered "angry, temperamental, unable to control their temperaments, etc" and the "B" word is inevitably applied to them as a label. A man who stands up for himself is considered to be doing what a man does and so it's just hunky-dory- I'm so tired of ignorance within our legislative process that if I didn't care so very much, I'd just let go of it and let it be, going in whatever direction it will. By 2009, this behavior by Lindsey Graham is despicable and totally unwarranted. Judge Sotomayor is a respected, intelligent, and worthy Judge. She has absolutely nothing in her background that should keep her from serving honorably on the Supreme Court. Lindsey Graham may want to stop "throwing stones" or a few that are rumored about him here in South Carolina may escape the Pandora's box that they've been slammed into for a long time. I have so much respect for President Obama and VP Biden, that I know our country is going to be all right with them at the helm. I pray that our society catches up to where it needs to be.

11:45AM PDT on Jul 16, 2009

Mary D….I agree with your last comment re: “good” judge but that must also be “right” person for this privilege. That includes being totally committed to our Constitution, our laws, and the facts plus being knowledgeable and firmly grounded in and ready to uphold the laws of what our forefathers envisioned so correctly for our country.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
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