Tales from the Trail

McCain opposes former rival’s first Supreme Court nominee

August 3, 2009

OBAMA/Nine months after losing the U.S. presidential election to Democrat Barack Obama, Republican John McCain is still taking center stage to voice disagreement with his former U.S. Senate colleague.

On Monday, McCain announced in a Senate speech that he would vote against Obama’s first U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, a federal judge for the past 17 years.

“She is an immensely qualified candidate,” McCain conceded.

But he added: “I do not believe that she shares my belief in judicial restraint.”

Echoing the concerns of a number of Senate Republican leaders, McCain complained she has ruled based not strictly by the law but also personal beliefs.

Despite a wall of Republican opposition, Sotomayor seems virtually certain to be confirmed this week by the Democratic-led Senate.

The American Bar Association gave Sotomayor its top rating, she has been supported by a number of law enforcement groups, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which often sides with Republicans, urged the Senate to confirm her, saying her record shows that she would be fair to business.

McCain said he monitored Sotomayor’s testimony at her Senate confirmation hearing last month. He said liked what he heard, but didn’t necessarily believe it.

“She clearly stated that ‘as a judge, I don’t make law.’ While I applaud this statement, it does not reflect her record as an appellate court judge.”

“As an appellate court judge, Judge Sotomayor has been overturned by the Supreme Court six times,” McCain said.

McCain lost to Obama after issuing countless warnings about the now popular president. He put out another warning on Monday — this one to fellow lawmakers.

“The American people will be watching this week when the Senate votes on Judge Sotomayor’s nomination. She is a judge who has forsworn judicial activism in her confirmation hearings, but who has a long record of it,” McCain said.

“If she uses her lifetime appointment on the bench as a perch to remake law in her own image of justice, I expect that Americans will hold us senators accountable,” McCain said.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (Obama and McCain talk at a recent meeting)

Comments
12 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Judge Sotomayor should be honored by McCain’s refusal to support her nomination.

McCain’s judgment about people who would have responsibility for protecting our Constitutional rights was evidenced by his choice of Sarah Palin as running mate, one heartbeat away from president.

It is a pity; McCain has veered so far from the words and acts that caused many of us to admire him.

 

As a long time Republican I was shocked by John McCain’s choice for a running mate. So much so that I was not able to support him. And once again, his stance on Judge Sotomayor shows me how out of touch John McCain has gotten. It’s time for Mr. McCain to lead his party in coming together with the Democrats with a common goal of doing what is best for America. The American Bar Association is supportive of Judge Sotomayor. Does John McCain think he knows more than theyt do? What a shame.

Posted by Bill Miners | Report as abusive
 
 

McCain is a long time Liberal/NeoCon Agenda person who cares what he rambles about.
This Woman is obviously not capable of looking after our rights from what we have seen of her, and the number of over turned rulings. Everyone should be extremely mad at all the Totalitarianism that has been magnified by this bush0bama final run on the Country.

Posted by Name | Report as abusive
 

McCain … LOL going to vote no … good lord … what a bunch of media grandstanding on his part to condition folks that he is the leader of the GOP ~ look at me I voted no …now you good poles …listen to me … I endorse so and so for the 2012 Republican Presidential Primaries …
It is so sad anyone even listens to that sell out …
Wake up folks … this is Orwellian … what a short memory we have ~ Keating 5 anyone … how is this guy still in office … what a joke …we have lost our understanding of the Constitution and what it right and wrong.

Posted by Jeesh | Report as abusive
 

Bill Miners,as a republican i was shocked at McCains selection.the mistake was the republican party were fooled into thinking that they had to appear to be like the democrats.McCain is now showing up on fox news,he hovered around on CNN and other liberals shows during the campaign.republicans should not vote for Sotomayor because she is a liberal activist!she would not have been nominated by obama if that was not so.in 2012 voters will be looking for alternative policies to socialism and people like palin who are an exact opposite to the reality of socialist high unemployment and high taxation will be what will win the day for the conservatives.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive
 

As a citizen of the United States of America, I have to voice my opinion and raise the validity of how far can a Judge go on ruling cases in our courts. The question I am seeking answers to are 1. Why is it that when a white man(Governor Easley) appoints a judge(Camille Banks-Payne, it’s appears to be okay for that judge to rule based on her personal belief and when a Black President( President Obama) nominates a Judge(Sotomayor), the question is raised as to her nomination based on her supposedly personal beliefs. Case and Point: My daughter faced Judge Camille Banks-Payne in the Forsyth County Courts during a custody hearing of her two sons. During the hearing, Judge Banks-Payne made jestures,degrading remarks against breastfeeding, and questioned my daughter as if she was a common criminal, because my daughter made a choice not to vaccinate her sons because of the risk associated with autism. This Judge actually ordered her sons to be in the custody of their father, ordered her to stop breastfeeding, ordered the children to be in daycare, ordered them to have their health visits with one doctor, ordered my daughter to get a job, knowing she was a stay at home mom during the marriage, ordered a psychological exam, finally ordered them to be vaccinated, inspite of the fact that the guardian Ad Litem and the psychologist thought it be in the best interest of the children to be with their mother. All because she felt that the above issues were in the best interest of the children. Parents do have a choice to seek an exemption from vaccinations and to home school their children. It is apparent that Judge Banks-Payne allowed her personal beliefs to rule in this custody case. She was for vaccinations, against breast feeding, against home schooling, against stay at home moms. According to the article written:
On Monday, McCain announced in a Senate speech that he would vote against Obama’s first U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, a federal judge for the past 17 years.

“She is an immensely qualified candidate,” McCain conceded.

But he added: “I do not believe that she shares my belief in judicial restraint.”

Echoing the concerns of a number of Senate Republican leaders, McCain complained she has ruled based not strictly by the law but also personal beliefs.

What is wrong with this picture? Why is it that Governor Easley can appoint someone(Camille Banks-Payne) that clearly based a custody decision on her own beliefs, then why is it that no one is cleaning up the system of this evil before it gets to the Supreme Courts?

President Obama, I am sure did his homework and this nomination, I believe will not become like the situation above.

Posted by Shelia Bradley Smith | Report as abusive
 

When law is twisted to suit a judge’s personal views, it becomes a perversion.

The most vital part of the law is its integrity. If the law is to change, it must be done properly. By the government and by the people who elected them.

Judicial activism is a shortcut which might provide short term gain for those with progressive views. But the more often it is used, the more damage it does to the integrity of the legal system.

You might support the idea that judges can twist laws. But sooner or later, a judge will twist the law in a way you disagree with. And then you will see why judicial activism should be discouraged at every turn.

Sorry, Obama. Your candidate is a known judicial activist. You might be able to force the issue in the senate, but her future decisions will be closely watched. And will reflect on those who supported her.

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive
 

If Justice Roberts would say “wize cracker” he would have received the boot.

so as for “wize latina” I would also vote NO

Posted by Ian | Report as abusive
 

Sotomayor is a worthy and highly capable justice. She will undoubtedly be confirmed. Senator McCain has decided to follow the Republican stream rather than his better instincts! This could come to haunt him later on. One expected better of McCain!

 

Elections are coming soon and ole’ john is trying to show that he’s some sort of republican still. She’ll be nominated regardless of his vote and so he gets to play his role easily. Just smoke and mirrors to fool the voters. I am a Republican but in a much different sense than the party actually represents and I did not vote for Johnny boy nor our current unqualified oath taker. It seems too easy to see through these types of disguises for Americans to keep making the wrong decisions at the polls. Remember, we are a Constitutional Republic , but need to start acting like one again.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive
 

And that, my friends, is the end of McCains long and sordid political career. He may win the Republican nomination by pandering to the conservative base but the rest of the state will through his butt out of office.

Posted by thebob.bob | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/