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Dr. Coburn Votes No on Endorsing Nomination of Judge Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today after voting against endorsing the nomination of Judge Sotomayor in a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"While I admire Judge Sotomayor's accomplishments, I cannot in good conscience vote to grant a lifetime appointment to a judge who rejects the fundamental limitations placed on judges by our Constitution," Dr. Coburn said. "I'm concerned Judge Sotomayor was speaking sincerely when she said the ‘court of appeals is where policy is made.' I hope she will prove me wrong on the Court, but I cannot take that chance by supporting her nomination."

"I was also troubled by Judge Sotomayor's contradictory statements on the use of foreign law as well as her inconsistent reasoning regarding the Second Amendment. A Supreme Court justice has no authority to make judgments based on international law, much less world opinion. I could not support any judge who, in the back of her mind, is worried about offending the international community while making a decision about a case in the United States," Dr. Coburn said.

"Regarding the Second Amendment, I was dismayed that Judge Sotomayor refused to acknowledge the fundamental right to self-defense, which predates the Constitution, and stated that she did not recall a case that addressed the right to self-defense despite the fact that the Supreme Court discusses the right to self-defense at length in Heller. I was also concerned that Judge Sotomayor's defended the ‘right to privacy' in the area of abortion, a right that does not appear in the Constitution, yet has not clearly defended an individual's right to bear arms, which does appear in the Constitution," Dr. Coburn said

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