As Senator, Obama Gave Less Respect to Bush’s Supreme Court Nominees, Sessions Says
July 17, 2009 - 5:50 PMPrior 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.