Supreme Court Judge Nominee Sonya Sotomayor has been meeting with U.S. Senators in Washington for “get to know you chats”. One of the senators who has had an opportunity to speak with Sotomayor is South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham. Graham recently appeared on “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” and spoke with Gwen Ifell. He says he found Sotomayor engaging but is unsure whether he will vote along party lines or vote according to his own standard.
“My point is President Obama voted against (Justices) Alito and Roberts and he created a standard that, if I followed, I don’t think I could vote for Judge Sotomayor,” said Graham.
“I don’t know what I am going to do. She is a very nice person, very qualified, sterling character, but I was that direct with her. I’ve got to find out what I think is best for the Senate and I’d like to get back to the good old days where we accepted differences and we voted for qualifications.”
Iffel asked Graham to address Sotomayor’s comments about being a better judge then a white male as a hispanic woman and Newt Gingrinch’s ensuing charge against her calling her a racist.
“That’s a horrible thing to says about someone, quite frankly,” he said. “That’s a very hard-hitting blow and look at the way she has lived her life. She has worked in all kinds of environments.She has worked with people from all walks of life and no one’s ever said that about her. But her speech is troubling and, quite frankly, I think she needs to address that. I didn’t ask her to apologize. Traditionally, nominees do not talk before the hearing but I’m sure she will address that. I think she should. I think it would help the country. I think it would help her.”
Graham went on to say that voting for a Supreme Court Justice is a game. He says he does not approve of the game but will play along. “I want to make the game–and there is a game here and it’s a game that has hurt the country, quite frankly–that we start over. I want to make sure that the Senate goes forward in a new way and I think the President can help assure us of that.
“As you look back, he (Obama) is basically asking me to do something he was unable to do himself.”
View the entire interview here.