Washington Times Op-Ed: Supreme Court Nominee Sotomayor Will Back Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
June 11, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Washington Times posted an editorial on Wednesday responding to the view by some, including national radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor may not be as bad on abortion as some observers believe.
After President Barack Obama announced the appeals court judge as his first selection for the Supreme Court, a review of her judicial record showed some favorable cases.
Sotomayor ruled in favor of upholding the Mexico City Policy, preventing tax-funding of groups that promote and perform abortions overseas, sided with pro-life advocates in a free speech case and ruled in favor of Chinese people fleeing the nation’s forced abortion regime.
However, the rulings don’t show any evidence of what Sotomayor would do on the high court when she is not bound by precedent or higher court rulings and is free to adjudicate based on her personal feelings.
The Washington Times says that Sotomayor will likely promote abortion and uphold Roe v. Wade on the high court and that it is a mistake to assume otherwise.
"Pro-life groups should not follow the famed radio host in assuming the Supreme Court nominee will have empathy for their legal or moral positions," the newspaper wrote.
It says using the minor abortion cases as a basis on which to claim Sotomayor will side with pro-life advocates on Roe "is almost certainly misreading the record" and that pro-life advocates "should calmly but actively urge their senators to oppose Judge Sotomayor’s nomination."
The Times cites Obama’s nomination of Sotomayor as evidence of her pro-abortion views given that he promised only pro-abortion judges.
"The most basic evidence of the judge’s support for Roe comes in the triple combination of White House assurances to that effect, of pro-choice senators declaring after meeting with her that they are sure she agrees with them, and of her entire jurisprudential approach of broadly construing anything characterized as ‘women’s rights,’" the Times wrote.
The Times also agrees with pro-life attorneys, and abortion advocates, who point to amicus briefs from a Hispanic group Sotomayor sat on the board of directors for that aggressively pushed abortion.
"Consider that from 1980 until October 1992, Judge Sotomayor served on the board — at times as vice president and at times as chairman of the litigation committee — of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund," the Times notes.
The New York Times in 1992 described her as "a top policy maker on the board and the group filed briefs in six cases in which it advocated abortion.
"The cases began with an abortion-funding case, Williams v. Zbaraz, just as she joined the board, and they continued through the landmark cases of Rust v. Sullivan, Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Especially in the Webster case, in which all nine justices joined at least part of the decision saying that states need not provide public funds for abortions, the fund supported positions far more pro-abortion than the court itself did," the Times explains.
Also, in the case Ohio v. Akron Center, the fund wrote that it "opposes any efforts to overturn or in any way restrict the rights recognized in Roe v. Wade."
"It is possible to serve on the board of a group while not being responsible for a single random legal brief. However, Judge Sotomayor’s group filed such suits at least six times," the Times editorial says.
The Times also notes how Sotomayor lamented a Congressional bill that prohibited the federal fund for legal services for poor people from litigating in favor of abortion.
Ultimately, the newspaper concludes, "There is no reason to support Judge Sotomayor’s nomination in the hope that she is pro-life when most of the evidence points in the other direction."
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