White House Says Obama Comfortable With Sonia Sotomayor’s Abortion Views
by Steven Ertelt
May 29, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — In a lengthy press conference late Thursday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs fielded more than 40 questions about where Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor stands on the issue of abortion.
Gibbs reiterated that President Barack Obama did not ask Sotomayor directly about her abortion views but talked enough about legal theory with her that he feels comfortable with her abortion stance.
"In their discussions they talked about the theory of constitutional interpretation, generally including her views on unenumerated rights and the Constitution and the theory of settled law," he said. "He left very comfortable with her interpretation of the Constitution being similar to that of his, though the bulk of the conversation was about her approach to judging."
Gibbs largely ducked questions about Sotomayor’s abortion views or her position on a so-called "right to privacy" that has been used to validate abortion. He retreated to his boilerplate language saying that Obama and Sotomayor have essentially the same outlook on the Constitution.
"He felt comfortable that they shared a philosophy on that interpretation … [of] the living document of the Constitution of the United States of America," he added.
With Obama taking a clear pro-abortion view that a "right" to abortion is somehow found in the Constitution, that should send a signal to the pro-life movement that Sotomayor is prepared to vote to uphold Roe v. Wade if confirmed to the Supreme Court.
After reporters spent several minutes trying to get Gibbs to give up more of an answer, one reporter asked the White House official, "Is the President at all concerned that she could be part of a 5-4 majority overturning Roe v. Wade?"
"I haven’t talked to him about that," Gibbs replied, and added that he was not aware of Sotomayor having volunteered her position on abortion and Roe to Obama during their pre-nomination interview.
Earlier in the week, Gibbs told reporters that Obama did not ask Sotomayor about abortion during her pre-nomination interview.
"The president doesn’t have a litmus test and that question was not one that he posed to her, he said.
Despite Gibbs’ comments, pro-life advocates viewed Obama as having a clear litmus test on Supreme Court appointments.
During a November, 2007 debate with Democratic primary candidates, Obama confirmed he would only back pro-abortion Supreme Court picks.
"I would not appoint somebody who doesn’t believe in the right to privacy," he said.
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