A sit-down between Saxby Chambliss and Sonia Sotomayor

Just got off the phone with U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who had a one-hour sit-down today with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

The Republican expressed some specific qualms about the nominee, but was surprisingly positive in his assessment — though “cordial” is probably the better word.

Sotomayor meets with U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson tomorrow.

Chambliss also expressed some concern about President Barack Obama’s subdued response to the post-election protests in Iran. All is below in a quick Q&A:

Insider: So what did you think of her?

Chambliss: In preparation for sitting down with her, I sat down and read a lot of her opinions, and read some of her speeches, and talked to some lawyers that had dealt with her.

There are some issues out there. We talked about some concerns I had regarding the Second Amendment, regarding some concerns I had on where she might come down on social issues — not abortion.

But frankly, what I had heard from people, from what I had read of her decisions, she obviously is very competent, very qualified. I did not detect any judicial temperament issues from any lawyers who had been practicing before her. In fact, they were all complimentary of her.

So I expected it to be a good conversation, and it was. We still have some concerns — particularly on Second Amendment issues.

Insider: What in particular?

Chambliss: In the Heller decision that the Supreme Court decided last year on the D.C. gun rights issue, the question that they left unanswered is whether or not the Second Amendment provides for a fundamental right of an individual to own and possess guns. And that fundamental right is key. And they didn’t decide that.

She had, in the Second Circuit, an opportunity to decide that issue, and decided to skirt it. That issue’s ultimately going to have to be decided by the next Supreme Court.

Insider: Are we past the “Latina woman” phase of the debate?

Chambliss: She was very direct, and said, ‘Look, if you read my whole speech, you’d see that a few lines later, I talked about the fact that eight white guys decided Brown v. Board of Education. So it’s not like I’m saying I’m better prepared or in a better position to decide any discrimination case or whatever.’ But she said, ‘I probably should have said it a little differently.’

She took about an hour with me, and that was more than generous. The only thing I didn’t get to her with was the issue of voter ID. Obviously that’s of much concern in Georgia right now. I’m likely to talk to her about that before I make my decision about what I’m going to do.

Insider: What do you think about what’s going on in Iran?

Chambliss: From an intel standpoint, we don’t know a lot about what’s going on over there. Our ability to collect intelligence in there has not been good over the last two decades.

Insider: You have to watch Twitter.

Chambliss: That’s exactly right. I made the comment yesterday that I thought the President was probably doing the right thing, then all the sudden the thing really escalates. And yet the president continues to be silent even though people are being killed.

Insider: You’d like to see Obama saying a little bit more about this?

Chambliss: I think it’s time, because the violence has escalated. It’s probably time that he stepped up the rhetoric a little bit. These guys are entitled to a free and fair election, and you need to go out of your way to make sure that’s what you had, or go back and re-do it and make sure that it is free and fair.

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46 comments Add your comment

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

June 17th, 2009
5:39 pm

Chambliss trying to make decisions based on the Constitution – why not get a gawddamn monkey?

Idiotic chickenhawk POS.


June 17th, 2009
5:59 pm

Just because the violence has escalated we are to get involved? WTW? Didn’t we try that dog and pony trick in Iraq, and look how far it has gotten us-trillions in debt, thousands dead. We are NO longer the world’s police; that is what happens when we want everyone to have an open market, competition, and democracy. Democracy as long as it meets the US definition.
Chambliss be less of a Republican and vote for Sotemayor as SCJ regardless of the party line.


June 17th, 2009
6:48 pm

The comments show that sad Saxby is a dirtbag.It is hard to be a yes man when boss little George W has left town fast. It really doesn’t matter what Saxby thinks in the big picture.


June 17th, 2009
6:57 pm

Soda Myer is obviously bigoted and I guarantee you she’ll issue some very leftwing opinions before she leaves the court. Yes the Constitution is a living breathing document because it can amended, but we can’t stomach another activist judge who wants to change meanings without amendment.

Bitter EX democrackkk

June 17th, 2009
7:55 pm

Did he ask her about her troubling membership in the Latino KKK, LaRaza?
That ALONE should DISqualify her without any more delay…


June 17th, 2009
7:56 pm

Senator Chambliss – if Sotomayor had ruled on the 2nd amendment question from the Appeals Court she would have been guilty of being an activist judge.
Same with the New Haven firefighters case – had she ruled for the firefighter that would have been an activist decision. We need to leave some decisions to the SCOTUS. That is why they are there.


June 17th, 2009
8:39 pm

“Chambliss trying to make decisions based on the Constitution – why not get a gawddamn monkey”

What an insult!!! What did a monkey ever do to you to make you compare him to a coward politician?

Bat boy

June 17th, 2009
8:59 pm

I love it when there are comments like this thread. I print it out, show it to the folks at work and make all the lefties hide in shame. No one can defend this.


June 17th, 2009
10:32 pm

Is Chambliss a man or a mouse? This woman is a danger to our liberties – get a pair Saxby – or next time we might as well vote for a damn democrat for your seat


June 17th, 2009
10:37 pm

Sotomayor will make an excellent Supreme Court judge. Thank god President Obama is allowed to make this nomination and not the party that tells everyone in this country how to think, what and who is patriotic, what the defination of morality is, and often are nothing but hypocrites themselves.

Cynthia Tucker McKinney

June 18th, 2009
12:29 am

Saxby must know ny now that it is OK for Democrat hack judges, politicos, media wh@res, disgruntled RINO’s or anyone on PMSNBC to be racist. She will get a pass on all her hate because: 1. Obama appointed her. 2. She is a “minority” and 3. Because if she is opposed, then those who oppose her will branded racist by Democrat hack judges, politicos, media wh@res, disgrunteled RINO’s or anyone on PMSNBC.


June 18th, 2009
7:07 am

Sadly, our Senators won’t wage an effective campaign agianst this nominee. They’ll give lip service about “thier concerns”, and then vote against her. The little secret is that the Republicans want Santomayer on the court to help their re-election chances, even if it destroys our Consistution.

To effectively stop her, the filibuster is needed and to do that the Republican caucus needs to stand together. That includes the Maine gals. Won’t happen though because the Republicans don’t want to stop her because the Georgia boys share her anti-Consitution views. If they cared about our Consitution, they would have challenged Bush when he diverted TARP money to GM and Chrysler. They would have challenged Paulson when the $700B theft, er TARP bill came up.

Johnny and Saxby are two peas in a bug infested pod, Big-Government, Lobbyist Owned, Tax and Spend, TARPY Republicans.


June 18th, 2009
7:45 am

I notice that Sotomayor’s opponents keep bleating the same tired insults–”She’s a racist, she’s an activist judge (whatever THAT means), she hates the Constitution”–without one shred of actual evidence to support them.

That’s what happens when you get all your information and ideas from talk radio, folks. You stop thinking and become a right-wing parrot.

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

June 18th, 2009
10:45 am

To clarify, Copyleft, these Georgia hicks and hillbillies never could think.


June 18th, 2009
10:55 am

You know, this Iran thing should be handled covertly. We do not like it when people like Hugo Chavez or Pres. Ahmadinejad make statements about our candidates for president in a supportive or defaming tone or word selection.

For his own political sake, Obama should address our nation about the issue…so to speak. Do not doubt that there is alot going on in the White HOuse and at the State Department. Just look what he did concerning Twitter. Obama’s State Department asked Twitter to postpone a scheduled maintenance so Twitter could stay up for these people in Iran.

The Snark

June 18th, 2009
11:45 am

Judge Sotormayor, appointed by a Republican President, has been doing her job in the federal courts for seventeen years without generating so much as a word of criticism or reproach.

Then, she is nominated for the U. S. Supreme Court, and suddenly the right wing is CONSUMED with OUTRAGE. She is not merely unqualified — oh, no. She is a BIGOT, a spewer of LEFTWING OPINIONS, a member of the LATINO KKK, a DANGER TO OUR LIBERTIES, a RACIST ACTIVIST JUDGE HATE THE CONSTITUTION, with ANTI-CONSTITUTION VIEWS, and ANOTHER ACTIVIST JUDGE WHO WANTS TO CHANGE THE MEANING WITHOUT AMENDMENTS.

WOW … Amazing! I wonder how she was able to hide it for so long? Boy, those “libs” sure are tricky!


June 18th, 2009
12:55 pm

Snark: Be fair… they had most of that stuff already written up and ready to scream about before they even knew who the nominee would be.

It would be a shame to waste all that venom, wouldn’t it?

Reading is Fun

June 18th, 2009
1:30 pm

I have noticed that no one on the left has refuted they fact that she did make racist/bigoted comments. They are just attacking those, who in my opinion, have every right to question her termperment. It is a lifetime appointment after all…. Why no defense of t HER words? Is there one? Or will the left supports Obama and his hangers-on no matter what?

The Oddball

June 18th, 2009
1:37 pm

The Oddball is reminded of Stalin’s purges in the 1930s. Whenever he decided to get rid of someone, he didn’t just fire them for incompetence. He got his henchmen to manufacture a lurid case of treason and collaboration with capitalists and Nazis. The more outrageous the claims, the better. A fairly transparent manipulation.

But — and here’s the point — the rank and file swallowed the stories whole. They actually believed that the lifelong Communist Party member they had fought and worked next to for twenty years had been a secret traitor the whole time. Stalin loved it.

The Snark

June 18th, 2009
1:40 pm

Reading is Fun:

You need to do some more fun reading. From the moment that the right began this manufactured story about alleged “racist/bigoted comments,” a hell of a lot of people have been pointing out that the comments have been taken out of context and misrepresented to be something they were not.

But, since it wasn’t reported on Fox or Hannity or Rush, you probably didn’t hear about it.

The Snark

June 18th, 2009
1:43 pm


You mean you don’t think those accusations were the result of a careful study of her career and a thoughtful analysis of the complexities of being a federal judge? Why would you think that? Because it came out within ten seconds of her nomination, from people who haven’t read a judicial opinion in their lives?

Reading is Fun

June 18th, 2009
2:05 pm

OK Snark. I guess when someone says that they would be a wiser and better judge because of their ethnicity and that another thereby implying that white males are not as wise, I should have looked for the hidden meaning? Tripe like that passed her lips more than once by the way. Obama found it so disheartening that he said that she should have a do-over on it. In other words, she was wrong. So is Obama part of the vast rightwing conspiracy to foil her nomination? You logic does not play out there, Snarky. Try again, please.


June 18th, 2009
2:22 pm

Keith, 6:57 pm 6/17, It appears that you must have the inside track on CJ nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Did you have a personal interview with her? I would be curious what questions you asked. In your personal interview did you find her evasive or direct? I would also be interested in what your definition of an activist judge is? My definition is a judge (or any other human, for that matter) who doesn’t think or rule as I do. After all since I am so perfect I need to have someone to blame for everything that goes wrong out there. Pretty arrogant, don’t you think.

The Snark

June 18th, 2009
2:54 pm

Reading is fun:

Take a break from Fox news and go back and read her entire speech. She didn’t say that.

The whole idea of attempting to discredit an experienced judge on one off-the-cuff sentence made years ago is foolish beyond words. She’s been a federal judge for 17 years. Does anybody seriously think she is not qualified?


June 18th, 2009
2:55 pm

RIF: It’s simple. She was referring to judgment specifically of discrimination cases, and noting that a minority person who’s seen and even experienced such discrimination firsthand would be better able to render a fair verdict than one who has not.

Simple, see? And 100% correct, too.

Now, what else ya got? And please, for the sake of originality, try to come up with something NOT from talk radio.


June 18th, 2009
4:51 pm

You Republicans just don’t get it. You have no say in the matter. Shut up.

Try winning some elections! LMAO!


June 18th, 2009
8:01 pm

“That’s what happens when you get all your information and ideas from talk radio, folks. You stop thinking and become a right-wing parrot”

Now, copyleft, wait once darn second. You mean I CAN’T get the straight truth from a third-rate real estate attorney who was so poor at his job he had to become an overpaid/underworked talk show host who is hour 4 1/2 hours everyday? Is that what your saying?

My wild-eyed perceptions have just melted…………

The Snark

June 18th, 2009
9:20 pm

Yo herbK, be fair now. Boortz was also a third-rate sports and entertainment lawyer for a while.

The Snark

June 18th, 2009
10:37 pm

You guys are right. I don’t care if she is the Mayor of Soto, she is a bigoted woman with some sort of axe to grind. Let her grind it, just not on the SCOTUS. I reread the speech and there is no there other way to spin. The comment was inapproriate, just like Obama said. And we all know the it was he who appointed her. Facts are facts. I hate it sometimes, but its true.

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

June 19th, 2009
8:38 am

Well, Boortz did gradyeate from Woodrow Wilson Law School, which is one of the top 10 law schools – on Peachtree Street


June 19th, 2009
8:44 am

Funny how the right-wing losers always resort to namejacking when they lose an argument, isn’t it?

Well, it’s funny to ME, anyway….

The Snark

June 19th, 2009
11:11 am

Very clever, “Reading is Fun.” You posted a stupid comment @ 10:37 using my name. That must be the lamest expression of inpotence and incompetence of all time in blog-world. It’s an admission of intellectual bankruptcy.

And next, to quote the late great John Belushi, “see if you can guess what I am now …”

Reading is Fun

June 19th, 2009
11:16 am

Hi friends. I am “Reading is Fun,” and I’d like to apologize for stealing the Snark’s name and posting dumb comments. You see, my thorazine wore off around ten o’clock last night, and I just sort of slipped a bit.

While I’m making amends here, I probably should also admit that I have never actually read Judge Sotomayor’s comments, even though they are posted in about a million places on the internet. I am happy to seize on any crumb of information, true or not, that drifts through the blogosphere, and trumpet it to buttress the opinions which I formed years ago. Call me lazy, but it beats the hard work of learning the facts and thinking for myself.

In conclusion, I’d like to say once and for all that the “corrupting a minor” charges are bogus. The kid was 15. Hell, he looked 17!


June 19th, 2009
9:27 pm

Stand firm on the 2nd amendment and be very thorough with Sonia Sotomayor, I believe that she is not the right person for this job. I sincerely believe that she is a Latino racist, does that make being a racist acceptable? I think not. We need someone who is going to judge from the Constitution not from their feelings and personal opinions.
I was impressed with the way that you handled Chris Mathews, he was pushing you and you stood firm and in the end he admitted that he agreed with you, way to go Senator.


June 19th, 2009
10:45 pm

Nancy, 9:27. Your belief doesn’t necessarily make it true. Give me 10 sound, plausible, and accurate (based on fact, not assumptions or “I believe” stuff) reasons why Sonia Sotomayor is a Latino racist.


June 19th, 2009
11:11 pm

Well All I can say what ever happens you guys voted them in and you get what you asked for sometimes. So times are hard and will get harder this lady will just be another one to get you where you want to be. I feel very sad that so many Americans or should I say people whom came here to live and call themselves afro americans latin americans etc etc don’t realize what they are setting themselves up for in there future. I won’t be here so suffer with the rest of you fools


June 19th, 2009
11:15 pm

you people have no idea what real freedom was like and you keep voting in these socialistic people you will find out what little freedoms you have will be gone listen to people from other countries like England or Canada and many many more. You won’t have thoughs fancy cars and your boom boxes and all the nice things you have today. Wake up before it is to late


June 19th, 2009
11:16 pm

Enter your comments here


June 20th, 2009
6:57 am

I don’t think it matters what we think or do. Our lives are in the hands of one his name is THE LORD JESUS CHRIST go ahead respond with your unbeliving remarks but I will see you at judgement day you will be wordless then. It matters not who you voted for your not in control. The republicans had a great chance to do some good stuff for this country THEY FAILED us. Then the foolish people of america voted in a man without knowing or trying to understand what kind of change he was for. The democrates in power now does not care how much money they spend, if they can get enough of the mindless americans to be dependant on goverment they will remain in power that is the main goal here they will also fail us. As a contry our biggest problem is not rather you are a repblican or democratean on the left or the right, but an AMERICAN EITHER LOVE HER OR LEAVE HER. As far as the appointment of the lady to the suprem court their is nothing the republicans can do, it is in the hands of the democrates. Change is what you voted for and baby your going to get it.


June 20th, 2009
9:49 am

Don’t vote to approve Sotomayor. Maybe she is charming but she is an anit-constitutionalist!She is racist and she said it herself. She will not interpret law she will legislate it. This vote is not rocket science!
As far as BH Obama. He’s not going to say anything about a corrupt election. He’s in the process of setting up his own in 2012! He just taking lessons from Iran.


June 20th, 2009
11:07 am

The “you guys voted them in” works both ways. We are where we are because “you guys voted them in” i.e., Bush/Cheney and the neocon baboons. So it is with life, the “you guys” is always the evil other, the bad one, which then makes me the good one.

And Mom7, how about hard facts to prove that Sotomayor is an anti-constitutionalist. Did you mean to say strict constructionist. Please clarify your position, with facts and not talk radio innuendo please.


June 22nd, 2009
8:13 am

And again, Mom7… got any proof, or should we just believe your assumptions?


June 22nd, 2009
4:39 pm

I suggest those of you who so strongly support Ms. Sotomayer and suggest those of us who don’t should do more research, take a dose of your own medicine and research the Founding of this Nation. This Country was built upon the notion that all of us are born free and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. The assumption was made a free people wanted the least amount of government interference in their lives as possible. Free people want to live their lives and raise their families according to their own beliefs and central to that belief was no one had the right to impose their beliefs on another by the use of force and/or intimidation. The Bill of Rights was created not to give government granted rights, but to guarantee God-Given rights would not be taken away under the guise of “Governmental Help”. The Constitution isn’t a “living, breathing document”, it is an instruction book on how to build and maintain a free Country. Those of you who would have us emulate other countries should remember we fought a war in 1776 to win the right not to be like any other country, but to be a unique free Republic where the “government” is the servant and the “People” are the masters. Ms Sotomayer clearly doesn’t believe in this form of government, she believes we are “entitled” to just what she wants us to have and freedom and liberty aren’t on the list. The Bill of Rights has no bearing on her chosen system of government. Please don’t put our and our children’s future in the hands of Elitist Jurist, who would be denounced for sedition and/or treason by any one of those who signed the Declaration of Independence. Insist our Congress confirm a peoples “Servant” rather than a “Master” to our high Court. Demand the ultimate “Entitlement” given by our Creator, FREEDOM and LIBERTY from governmental oppression and interference. I will support any judicial nominee who supports this judicial agenda and this one flunks badly.


June 23rd, 2009
2:32 am

Great post TBILL however while all that freedom stuff you quoted was going on, those same folks were trying to exterminate the Indians. I noticed you even threw in a little religion towards the end. You know the preachers during slavery said that slavery was a right justified by God. Next time try including all the facts.

Jerry Taylor

June 29th, 2009
3:19 pm

I oppose everything about Ms.Sotomayer,and I hope that I can count on you to oppose her nomination.

Susie B

June 30th, 2009
3:51 pm

Chambliss will grandstand on Sotomayor just like he does on everything else. Instead of looking at her whole record, which many experts call conservative, he’ll take a few sentences out of context, out of the hundreds of thousands she’s written, and work himself into a lather over those. Just like he’s done with the nomination of regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, a provocative and exciting thinker and author. Chambliss is purposely misquoting Sunstein, freaking himself out about the strawman he’s invented, and refusing to let Sunstein’s nomination come to a vote (this is a democracy?) Not in King Chambliss’s mind…