Yesterday in a speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) “became at least the third Republican” to announce that he will vote against Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court:
Mr. President, judges do not make law, and under no circumstance should they be under the impression that they do. Judge Sotomayor sees judges as lawmakers — as both umpire and player. [...]
I wonder how Alexander Hamilton would respond. I think he would wholly disagree with that interpretation. Unfortunately, Judge Sotomayor’s writings and statements lead me to believe she is a proponent — a clear proponent — of an activist judiciary. I cannot support her nomination. I will vote “no” when it comes before the full Senate.
Watch part of his floor speech:
During the confirmation hearings for Samuel Alito in 2006, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) lamented to the judge that there were “those who have already decided to vote against your nomination and are looking for some reason to do so.”
At the time, however, no Democrat had announced plans to vote against Alito; only Republicans had made up their minds to support him. This time around, Republicans — like Brownback — are the ones who are rushing to announce their opposition to Sotomayor, even though Senate Republicans have promised to give Sotomayor a “fair opportunity to provide full and complete answers” about her record.
Last week, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) also said that his vote to oppose Sotomayor was a “foregone conclusion” 11 years before she was even nominated for the Supreme Court, citing his opposition to her in 1998. He also blew off a scheduled meeting with the judge. As early as May 28, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) came out and became the first Republican to oppose Sotomayor, saying, “I do not plan to vote for her. … I voted no in 1998. … Since that time, she has made statements on the role of the appeals court I think is improper and incorrect.”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) also blew off his meeting with Sotomayor. The judge, who has been “[h]obbling along with her leg in a cast,” was 10 minutes late. Impatient, Corker said he didn’t feel like waiting on the injured judge: “I decided to proceed on to the next meeting.” In the wake of the press attention, Corker rescheduled the meeting. After the meeting, Corker said that he is “reserving judgment on her nomination until the conclusion of a fair and thorough hearings process.”