Cheney Gives Sotomayor a Pass

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday declined to criticize President Barack Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court, saying the president’s selection of Judge Sonia Sotomayor is well within his prerogative.

Asked about Sotomayor following a speech at the National Press Club, Cheney said she would not have been his first pick but did not rip the selection, as some of the president’s other top conservative critics have done.

“I don’t have a vote, obviously, but if I had to nominate someone for the Supreme Court I don’t think I would have nominated her,” Cheney said. “I think I would have gone more with someone like John Roberts or Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh have called Sotomayor a “racist” for past comments suggesting a “wise Latina woman” could come to a “better conclusion” than her white male colleagues.

But Cheney laid off that comment Monday, saying his desire for more conservative justices on the court is “nothing personal against the nominee.”

“If it were my nomination to make, I’d have chosen someone more conservative,” Cheney said, adding that “the president has made his call. That’s his prerogative.”

Cheney then pointed out that Obama “won the election.”

“Now there will be a debate in the Senate over whether or not she ought to be confirmed,” he said. “I look forward to the hearings just like a lot of other people do.”

Cheney also voiced opposition to bans on gay marriage during his Press Club remarks, declaring that “freedom means freedom for everyone.”

“As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay, and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family,” he said. “I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish.”

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