Senate Democratic Women May Oppose John Roberts Based on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 29, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Democratic Women May Oppose John Roberts Based on Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 29, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Seven Democratic women senators on Thursday held a press conference to announce they will press for members of the Judiciary Committee to ask Supreme Court nominee John Roberts to specifically address his views on the issue of abortion.

They also pledged to vote against Roberts if he doesn’t back Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized unlimited abortion throughout pregnancy.

"I want to hear a nominee say that the [right to privacy] is the basis for their philosophy," pro-abortion Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell said.

"If an individual says that, then I will be convinced that they truly believe in the right to privacy and will not be a member of the Supreme Court that will unsettle Roe v. Wade," she added.

"For more than 20 years, Sandra Day O’Connor has been an important vote in upholding Roe v. Wade," California Sen. Barbara Boxer said. "Will Judge Roberts be that same important voice?"

Sean Rushton, director of the Committee for Justice, a group that backs Roberts, said the women’s views amounted to a litmus test.

"This is a single-issue litmus test that strikes at the heart of an independent judiciary," he told the Washington Times. "It proves that the Democratic Party is increasingly focused solely on the issue of abortion on demand. Their greatest fear is a nonpolitical judge who will read the law as it’s written."

In fact, when asked by reporters, none of the seven Democrats said they would vote for Roberts if he said he opposed Roe. Boxer indicated it would be "impossible" for the group to vote for him.

Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, a possible 2008 presidential contender, clarified that she would wait to hear Roberts’ views before making a final decision about him.

"I’m not going to be speculating," she said.

Joining Cantwell, Boxer and Clinton were Sens. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and Patty Murray of Washington.