Bob Graham criticizes Sotomayor on judicial diversity

Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) has no problem with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's legal philosophy or experience, but he does have a problem with the Hispanic judge on the issue of diversity.

Not racial diversity but judicial diversity, he said Monday.

"I have only one criticism, which is that she comes from the federal district court, and every member of the Supreme Court, all nine of them, for the first time in history come from the U.S. district court," he said. "I think the Supreme Court ought to have a wider range of judicial backgrounds."

Graham, in Washington for a meeting of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, which he chairs, compared today's high court lineup with that of the 1960's and 70's .

"You had Earl Warren, a former governor, as chief justice," Graham said, while associate justices included Hugo Black, a former U.S. senator; William Douglas, a Yale law professor and member of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Byron White, a former U.S. assistant attorney general and professional football player; Stewart Potter, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals; and William Brennan, a former New Jersey Supreme Court justice.

- Al Eisele