This page contains every single comment made by John Cornyn in this morning’s appearance on “This Week.” The full transcript is here.
[Responding to Chuck Schumer’s suggestion that diversity is important]: Well, of course, George, the concern is that above the Supreme Court it says “Equal justice under law.” And it’s doesn’t — shouldn’t make any difference what your ethnicity is, what your sex is, or the like.
We would also hope that judges would be, you know, umpires, impartial umpires. And, you know, the focus shouldn’t be on the umpire and what their sex or gender is, or their ethnicity. It ought to be on the game. And here it’s on the rule of law, I agree. But it’s not just her statements. It’s the New Haven firefighter case where she apparently ignored legitimate constitutional claims of a number of firefighters, including an Hispanic who claimed discrimination on — because of the color of their skin. And now the Supreme Court, I think, is poised to perhaps even reverse that.
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[Responding to Stephanopoulos’s question about the Tom Goldstein analysis of Sotomayor’s rulings in discrimination cases]: Well, George, what you’ll see from our side of the aisle during these hearings is members of the Judiciary Committee and senators who are not willing to prejudge or pre-confirm any nominee, but are committed to a fair process, and one that allows Judge Sotomayor to explain what the context is for all this and what her true feelings are.
I might say that’s in stark contrast to the way Miguel Estrada was treated, somebody who was on a path to become the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, and Clarence Thomas, somebody with a compelling story like Judge Sotomayor, but who was subjected, at least in his words, to a high-tech lynching.
So I think the most important thing that can happen here is, everybody take a deep breath, calm down. Let’s take our time, let’s review those 17 years of federal judicial history, and let’s ask the nominee some questions in a dignified Senate process.
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[Responding to Sen. Schumer’s disingenuous argument that Miguel Estrada failed to answer questions]: Well, George, I think — I take a contrary view, as you might imagine. I think this is pretext. I mean, Miguel Estrada immigrated from Honduras. He couldn’t speak English, when he was 17 years old, came here, graduated from the two top schools in America, and rose to the very top of the legal profession. And yet, he was filibustered by Democrats who denied an up-or-down vote in the United States Senate.
Now, can you imagine if the shoe were on the other foot today?
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[Responding to a question regarding whether the GOP will filibuster Sotomayor]: Well, I think it’s really premature to say that, or to speculate. That’s why I . . . I’m not willing to judge one way or the other, George, because frankly, we need to not prejudge, not pre-confirm, and to give Judge Sotomayor the fair hearing that Miguel Estrada, and, indeed, Clarence Thomas were denied by our friends on the other side of the aisle.
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Well, there are a lot of important questions. We’ve talked about some of them this morning. We need to know, for example, whether she’s going to be a justice for all of us, or just a justice for a few of us. And, you know, this promise of equal justice under the law is not just a motto emblazoned above the Supreme Court, this is the standard. And indeed, by ignoring a genuine constitutional issue about reverse discrimination in the New Haven firefighter case, you know, the comments she made about the quality of her decisions being better than those of a white male — I mean, we need to go further into her record to see whether this is a trend, or whether these are isolated and explainable events.
Cornyn never “pledged that he and other Republican lawmakers would probe deeply into Sotomayor’s past comments and rulings to see if her heritage colors her ability to make fair decisions.” That is an outright fabrication by the Los Angeles Times. The focus was on her statements and rulings, not on her heritage.