Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said today that Sonia Sotomayor might have a "character problem," adding that if he applied the same standard to her that Obama had applied to Sam Alito, he would vote against her.
"There's a character problem," Graham told reporters after meeting Sotomayor, adding that he needed to determine that "her temperament problem is...not who she is."
Graham cited comments by lawyers who had appeared before Sotomayor in court as evidence that she might not be fit to be a justice. He is likely referring to comments in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, which Jeffrey Rosen cited in The New Republic
Sotomayor can be tough on lawyers, according to those interviewed. "She is a terror on the bench." "She is very outspoken." "She can be difficult." "She is temperamental and excitable. She seems angry." "She is overly aggressive--not very judicial. She does not have a very good temperament." "She abuses lawyers." "She really lacks judicial temperament. She behaves in an out of control manner. She makes inappropriate outbursts." "She is nasty to lawyers. She doesn't understand their role in the system--as adversaries who have to argue one side or the other. She will attack lawyers for making an argument she does not like."
Graham said he needed to determine whether those comments were representative of Sotomayor's demeanor or just a "small slice of the pie."
"I just don't like bully judges," said Graham, a former attorney.
Graham also used his remarks to blast President Obama's vote against Sam Alito's confirmation in 2005. The South Carolina Republican said that if he used the standard Obama used to judge Alito, then he would not be able to support Sotomayor.
Obama said during Alito's confirmation process that Senators should engage in an "examination of a judge's philosophy, ideology, and record."
Graham said if he were judging Sotomayor's ideology, he would certainly vote against her.
"He used a standard that would make it impossible, I think, for a person of the opposite party to be able to confirm a nominee of someone of the other party," Graham lamented.