Crist 'cannot support' Sotomayor
After refusing to weigh in on the qualifications of Sonia Sotomayor, Gov. Charlie Crist this afternoon released a campaign statement indicating he does not support her appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"As Governor, I have had the honor of appointing dozens of judges, in both the appellate and trial courts. Selecting a judge, particularly to a supreme court, is one of the weightiest and most important decisions any elected executive can make."
"While I have not had the opportunity to meet personally with Judge Sotomayor -- a crucial step in the selection process -- have reviewed and reflected upon her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and come to the conclusion that I cannot support her appointment to the United States Supreme Court.
"Judge Sotomayor is worthy of respect for her many accomplishments and her remarkable story of success. However, I have strong concerns that Judge Sotomayor would not strictly and objectively construe the Constitution and lacks respect for the fundamental right to keep and bear arms. For these reasons, I cannot support her appointment to the highest court in the land."
Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman accused Crist of "pandering." From a statement:
"Charlie, who are you pandering to? And why now?
"For weeks now, Charlie Crist has claimed that he is too busy 'governing' to tell Floridians where he stands on the most basic of federal issues. Today, by coming out against the nomination of Judge Sotomayor, Crist once again shows that his only core belief is personal ambition.
"As Judge Sotomayor demonstrated in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, her stirring life story and outstanding career -- at nearly every level of our judicial system -- makes her uniquely qualified to serve as America's next Supreme Court Justice. Throughout her career on the bench, she has been lauded as a fearless jurist, with a sharp and independent mind and a deep commitment to the rule of law and our constitutional traditions. That's why so many Republicans, including Sen. Mel Martinez, have come out in support of Sotomayor.
"But now that Crist is willing to weigh in on issues currently before the U.S. Senate, Floridians deserve to know how Crist feels about President Obama's efforts to reform health care, how he would vote on the energy bill to curb global warming that the Senate will soon take up, and where he stands on the efforts to reform the broken immigration policy."