Is Sotomayor Pro-Life?

Is Sotomayor Pro-Life? May 28, 2009

Some pro-abortion groups are concerned that she might be:

President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court has provoked concern from abortion rights advocates, who say they have seen no evidence that she supports upholding Roe vs. Wade.

In 2002, Sotomayor rejected a challenge to President George W. Bush’s so-called Mexico City policy, which required foreign groups receiving U.S. funds to pledge that they would not support or promote abortion.

Two years ago — in a case of concern to women’s groups — she joined an appeals court ruling that upheld a school district’s policy requiring teachers to notify a parent if they saw that a girl was pregnant. The court said that the teachers had no legal basis for objecting to the policy.

Personally, I highly doubt that Sotomayor would be anything but a reliable vote in favor of Roe v. Wade. The cases in question here involved matters that were fairly open and shut, legally, so I don’t think they tell us much about her views one way or the other (at most one could glean from the decisions that she is not so rabidly pro-abortion as to rule against any pro-life policy regardless of the law or the circumstances). And while the White House claims it never discussed the issue of Roe with her prior to nomination, I don’t believe that for a second. The irony of having the fifth vote to overturn Roe come from an Obama-appointed justice is so great as to make me really want to give the idea credence, but the reality is that she will almost certainly end up as part of the Court’s pro-Roe block.

UPDATE: Looks like the abortion rights crowd has another reason to be worried. According to this article, the Catholic League’s Bill Donahue is says he will “quietly root” for Sotomayor to be confirmed (the article also quotes Vox Nova alum Steve Dillard).


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