Pro-Life Groups Oppose Sotomayor Supreme Court Pick, Call Her Judicial Activist

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 26, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups Oppose Sotomayor Supreme Court Pick, Call Her Judicial Activist

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 26
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The initial reaction from pro-life groups on the nomination of appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace retiring pro-abortion Justice David Souter is one of opposition. Although she made the right decision in one abortion case, they say she will likely uphold Roe v. Wade, the 1973 abortion case.

The pro-life opposition centers on Sotomayor’s comments from 2005 saying the courts are the place "where policy is made."

Though she once ruled in favor of upholding the Mexico City Policy, pro-life organizations say her comment trumps that decision because she appears to favor Roe and how the Supreme Court made abortion policy by allowing abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason.

“For all the President’s talk of finding ‘common ground,’ this appointment completely contradicts that hollow promise," Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest told "Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy undermines common ground."

"She believes the role of the Court is to set policy, which is exactly the philosophy that led to the Supreme Court turning into the ‘National Abortion Control Board,’ denying the American people the right to be heard on this critical issue," Yoest added.

"This appointment would provide a pedestal for an avowed judicial activist to impose her personal policy and beliefs onto others from the bench, at a time when the Courts are at a crossroad and critical abortion regulations supported by the vast majority of Americans like partial-birth abortion and informed consent laws lie in the balance," Yoest explained.

Mathew Staver, the founder of the pro-life legal group Liberty Counsel, continued the thread about Sotomayor as a judicial activist.

He told Sotomayor has had 5 decisions reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, 3 of which have been reversed. She has carried only 11 of 44 possible votes during those cases.

Chief Justice Roberts once stated that her method of reading the statute in question “flies in the face of the statutory language.”

"No one ever expected President Barack Obama to nominate someone who respects the original intent of the Constitution," Staver said.

The only good news for the pro-life movement from Staver’s perspective is that "her nomination does not change the makeup of the United States Supreme Court" because she will be replacing an abortion advocate.

Jay Sekulow, the lead counsel for the pro-life American Center for Law and Justice, also weighed in on Sotomayor’s nomination.

“This is a very aggressive decision that will trigger a national debate on the issue of judicial activism,” he told “The background and philosophy of Judge Sotomayor clearly puts the Constitution front and center."

"How will this nominee view the Constitution and the rule of law? Will she embrace past comments when she stated that the ‘court of appeals is where policy is made?’ This nomination raises serious questions about the issue of legislating from the bench," Sekulow added.

"We’re hopeful that the members of the Senate will ask the tough questions about her judicial philosophy and temperament when the confirmation hearings get underway this summer. The American people deserve to fully understand what kind of Justice is being nominated to serve on the nation’s highest court for decades to come," he concluded.

Related web sites:
American Center for Law and Justice –
Liberty Counsel –
Americans United for Life –
Video of Sotomayor comment –

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