As Senator, Obama Gave Less Respect to Bush’s Supreme Court Nominees, Sessions Says
July 17, 2009Prior to the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said, "We lost, and President Obama won, and that ought to matter … I honestly think I could vote for [Sotomayor].''
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said he agreed with Graham’s remark, when asked about it after the hearings commenced, but he also said that “no senator has given less respect to a president’s nominee since probably Senator Obama” when he was in the Senate.
“Oh, I think it does. I think he’s exactly right,” Sessions said in reference to Graham’s remark. But “I believe no senator has given less respect to a president’s nominee since probably Senator Obama when he was a senator – and he articulated that quite openly as some have quoted him – but I do think there is deference to be given to a president’s nominee. How much, each individual senator will have to decide.”
Sessions added that less respect is given to a president’s nominees today than 20 years ago.
“I do think that over the years – I do believe more senators are feeling their responsibility to make a judgment and probably less deference today than 20 years ago,” he said.
Obama joined a filibuster when he was a U.S. senator to delay the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito, one of President Bush’s nominees to the Supreme Court.
"I will be supporting the filibuster because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values," Obama said in January 2006.
"When you look at his decisions – in particular, during times of war – we need a court that is independent and is going to provide some check on the executive branch,” said Obama.