Corker says he won't vote for Sotomayor

Corker says he won't vote for Sotomayor

July 30th, 2009 by Wire Service and Staff Report in Politics National

U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., on Wednesday issued a statement saying he will not vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor as the next justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The senator's statement came as a battle over the nomination emerged between Democrats and Republicans.

"After much deliberation and careful review, I have determined that Judge Sotomayor's record and many of her past statements reflect a view of the Supreme Court that is different from my own," Sen. Corker wrote.

"I view the Supreme Court as a body charged with impartially deciding what the law means as it is applied to a specific case. I believe Judge Sotomayor views the Supreme Court as more of a policy-making body where laws are shaped based on the personal views of the justices," he said.

"Unfortunately, nothing I heard during Judge Sotomayor's confirmation hearings or in my meeting with her in June sufficiently allayed this concern. For this reason, I'm disappointed to say, I will not be able to support Judge Sotomayor's nomination."

The battle turned bitter Wednesday, after Democrats warned the GOP it would pay a steep price for opposing the judge who would be the first Hispanic justice, and a top Republican charged they were playing destructive racial politics.

Majority Leader Harry Reid implored Republicans Wednesday to join Democrats in voting to confirm Sotomayor next week, warning that GOP opposition would bring the same sort of public backlash that followed the party's spirited opposition to measures that would have given some illegal immigrants a chance to gain legal status.

"I just think that their voting against this good woman is going to treat them about the same way that they got treated as a result of their votes on immigration," said Reid, D-Nev.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the head of his party's Senate campaign committee and a Sotomayor opponent, shot back that Reid and other Democrats were trying to exploit the nomination and "giving cover to groups and individuals to nurture racial grievances for political advantage."

"I don't think it influences people's votes, but what it does encourage is a very poisonous -- indeed a very toxic -- tone of destructive politics," Sen. Cornyn told The Associated Press. "They ought to be ashamed of themselves."