Risch Explains his Opposition to Sotomayor Nomination

Washington, DC—Senator Jim Risch spoke from the floor of the U.S. Senate this morning in opposition to the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

“I take the advice and consent provision of our constitutional duty in the appointment of judges and others very seriously. It was important for me to find a method to determine the appropriateness of this person’s qualifications to serve as a Supreme Court Justice. I did find a person to emulate, and they broke the method down into two parts – the ‘who’ and the ‘what.’ Like this person, my focus is not on the ‘who,’ but on the ‘what.’ What does this person stand for? At the end of the day, the ‘what’ will guide that person in making judicial decisions. I have had the opportunity at the state level to appoint judges, and it is an appropriate method to determine a person’s qualifications to serve in a judicial capacity.

“The person I chose to emulate currently serves as President of the United States. He has gone through this exercise of determining the qualifications of a Supreme Court nominee based on the ‘who’ and the ‘what’ of a nominee before casting his vote as a U. S. Senator. On two nominations for the United States Supreme Court, he could not vote for the nominees—not because of the ‘who’ part of the equation, but rather on the ‘what’ part of the equation. He did that based on his vision of what he wanted to see in America, and I do likewise.

“In all good conscience, I must withhold my consent. I withhold my consent based not on the ‘who,’ but on the ‘what’ this nominee brings forward with her views of the Constitution. I will vote no.”

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