Second Senator Says Sonia Sotomayor Backs Roe v. Wade Abortion Case

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 4, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Second Senator Says Sonia Sotomayor Backs Roe v. Wade Abortion Case

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 4
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — As Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor makes the rounds in meetings with members of the Senate, a second senator says she backs the Roe v. Wade abortion case. Roe, the 1973 Supreme Court decision, allowed virtually unlimited abortions for any reason throughout pregnancy.

Sotomayor met with pro-abortion Sen. Diane Feinstein on Tuesday and the lawmaker said she felt comfortable that the appeals court judge supports Roe as precedent.

Now, pro-abortion Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who met with Sotomayor late Wednesday, is saying the same thing.

"I was very pleased that the judge indicated that in the past that she has had a great respect for precedent and that Roe v. Wade is established law," Wyden told reporters, according to a Politico report.

Wyden says he asked specifically about the issue of abortion and the controversial Supreme Court case and "she acknowledged the importance of precedent."

"She made that very clear," Wyden said.

Wyden added in comments to The Oregonian, "She acknowledged that Roe v Wade was precedent and established law. Of course she can’t get into specific cases."

"She acknowledged the importance of precedent. Let me be clear. What I was looking for, particularly on that point, was to hear a nominee who was not going to trifle with precedent and the rule of law. She made that very clear,” he said.

Wyden also said he asked Sotomayor about "end of life" issues, referring to assisted suicide, which Oregon made legal as the first state to do so, and he said "she responded thoughtfully."

After her meeting, Feinstein said that she believes that Sotomayor would not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

She said Sotomayor "is a woman who is well-steeped in law and well-steeped in precedent. I believe that she has a real respect for precedent and that she was not just saying that."

The pro-abortion senator’s comments will likely provide more assurance for pro-abortion groups that have provided limited support and endorsement to her thus far.

It could also breathe life into the opposition of Sotomayor by pro-life groups, who have noted some of her positive abortion decisions but said they don’t represent her views on abortion policy.

They have also noted that Sotomayor has made remarks that make her appear to be a judicial activist who would make law from the bench in the same way the high court invented a so-called right to abortion.

President Obama, who is pro-abortion, has also noted he is comfortable with Sotomayor’s abortion position.

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