Two Republican Senators Question Sotomayor's Judgment

Published July 19, 2009


WASHINGTON -- Two top Republicans remain unconvinced that Sonia Sotomayor's judicial rulings make her worthy of a seat on the Supreme Court.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the federal appellate judge's personal story is compelling but he's not going to vote to confirm Sotomayor, who would be the first Hispanic on the court, for the lifetime appointment. 

McConnell said he is "a big fan of her career" and biography. He is not, however, a fan of Sotomayor's personal views.

"I myself am married to an immigrant who came to this country not speaking a word of English and ended up on the president's Cabinet," McConnell said of his wife, former George W. Bush Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. 

But Sotomayor's "personal views, which she has expressed quite frequently, leave me to believe that she lacks the objectivity that you prefer to have by a member of the Supreme Court," McConnell said.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, would not go so far as to reveal his position on a vote, however, he said he remains troubled by her record, particularly as it relates to her work on the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, which he described as "very aggressive" when it comes to supporting abortion rights.

"She voluntarily joined and was on the board and her organization advocated that the federal Constitution required that it pay for abortions and the group also opposed any parental consent laws on abortions. So I would assume that that answer was where she will be" on the high court, Sessions said. 

A vote is expected next month on President Obama's first nominee to the Supreme Court. 

Even if Sessions votes against Sotomayor, she is expected to be confirmed with the support of at least three Republican senators.

Sessions appeared on CNN's "State of the Union." McConnell was a guest on NBC's "Meet the Press."

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