Obama Accuses Sotomayor’s Critics of Political Games’

Posted May 30, 2009 at 9:35am

President Barack Obama on Saturday morning struck back against critics of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, accusing them of playing “political games— by trying to use her past comments against her.Some opponents have tagged Sotomayor as “racist— for a remark in 2001 in which she suggested that Latina judges would come to better conclusions than white male judges. Other critics have zeroed in on comments Sotomayor made in 2005 in which she suggested appellate courts make policy. “There are, of course, some in Washington who are attempting to draw old battle lines and playing the usual political games, pulling a few comments out of context to paint a distorted picture of Judge Sotomayor’s record,— Obama said in his weekly radio address. “But I am confident that these efforts will fail.—Obama indicated such comments must be taken in the context of her entire record. “Judge Sotomayor’s 17-year record on the bench hundreds of judicial decisions that every American can read for him or herself speak far louder than any attack; her record makes clear that she is fair, unbiased and dedicated to the rule of law,— he said. Obama also called for the confirmation process to begin immediately when Congress returns to work next week, and said debate should “avoid the political posturing and ideological brinksmanship that has bogged down this process, and Congress, in the past.— Obama has said he wants the Senate to confirm Sotomayor — the first Hispanic nominated to the high court — before it adjourns for the August recess.But that timeline already is meeting resistance from top Republicans, who are asking for time to review the nomination.A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Saturday noted that Obama, while a Senator, sought to trip up the confirmation process of then-Supreme Court nominee and now-Justice Samuel Alito.“Well, 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, you know,— Obama said in January 2006 during an appearance on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.—