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July 22nd, 2009
Kyl Puts Politics Over Merit in Sotomayor Decision

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva issued the following statement today on Senator Jon Kyl’s upcoming vote against the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor by President Obama to serve as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court:

“Today, I read in the news, and heard reports on television, that Senator Kyl will be opposing the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

“It is disappointing that he dismisses her record, her talent and her extensive experience. Judge Sotomayor brings more federal experience to the Court than any justice in the past 100 years. She has seen a variety of cases brought before her court and has a strong reputation of being honest, fair and consistent.

“Judge Sotomayor has overcome partisanship and has been recognized by Republican and Democratic presidents, alike, for her integrity, professionalism and commitment to the law.

“I have not always agreed with decisions that Sotomayor has made. But that is because she does not make decisions hoping to win political friends, based on shared ideology. Sotomayor has excelled in her career for making decisions based on the law, not on her personal views.

“During her confirmation hearings, Judge Sotomayor provided ample evidence of her record, even addressing statements she made prior to her days as an undergrad at Princeton. She stood by her actions, her decisions and, having watched the hearings, I recall that Sotomayor provided more than enough attention and responses to Senator Kyl’s questions. In fact, she spent more time answering Senator Kyl than any other senator, which is unfortunate, since Senator Kyl chose to occupy Sotomayor’s time by repeatedly peppering her with the same two questions—both of which she adequately addressed and neither of which contributed to anyone’s ability to evaluate her on her judicial record and merits.

“I find it sad that someone whose duty it is to examine and vote on the judges who sit in our nation’s highest court is a person who made up his mind before the vetting even began. Senator Kyl’s tone and rhetoric has not changed since President Barack Obama first announced Judge Sotomayor’s nomination. Before the hearings, during the hearings and after the hearings, Senator Kyl persists in his refusal to look at Sotomayor’s judicial discipline and, instead, maintains his commitment to allowing his ideology to define his vote.

“It is disappointing that, despite the great responsibility with which he is charged, Senator Kyl cannot rise above partisan politics, as President George Bush did, and support Judge Sotomayor.”

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