Senate GOP Sees Little Reason for Big Anti-Sotomayor Push, Pro-Life Groups Do

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 22, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate GOP Sees Little Reason for Big Anti-Sotomayor Push, Pro-Life Groups Do

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 22
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — In new interviews, leading Senate Republicans say they are seeing little reason for an all-out campaign against Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. However, top pro-life advocates say more evidence is cropping up showing how Sotomayor will be a solid abortion advocate on the high court.

A handful of senators spoke with Politico and said they’re not seeing the same level of opposition or fervor related to Sotomayor as the opposition Democrats produced when the Senate considered John Roberts or Samuel Alito.

“She doesn’t have the punch out there in terms of fundraising and recruiting, I think — at least so far,” pro-life Sen. John Thune of South Dakota said.

Thune said the response has been muted in part because Sotomayor is replacing pro-abortion Justice David Souter and not one of the pro-life members of the Supreme Court.

“When one of the conservatives leaves the court, then I think you’ll have a huge fight, and I think that will be very galvanizing,” Thune said.

But he said that strong opposition is possible if Sotomayor has a confirmation hearing that brings out more reasons to challenge her bid.

“The process is just starting, and it may build as time goes on, as the Judiciary Committee hearings get under way, and as she starts to testify and express more of her views in the public forum," he said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a pro-life lawmakers from South Carolina, agreed and added, "Right now, you don’t have the fever pitch you did over the filibuster. It depends on how she does [at the confirmation hearings]. If she performs well, no. If she performs poorly, potentially, yes.”

However, pro-life advocates are beginning to ramp up their opposition to Sotomayor, especially with the latest information showing her pro-abortion credentials.

Sotomayor has little abortion record to consider, but she has come under fire for serving on the board and as the head of litigation for a pro-abortion Hispanic group that ran counter to the pro-life cultural views of most Latinos and fired off six amicus briefs advocating unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy.

That has prompted pro-life groups like Americans United for Life to do more, and AUL has launched a new campaign called “Worse Than Souter” that seeks to persuade members of the Senate to oppose her nomination.

Charmaine Yoest, president of the pro-life legal group, wrote a new editorial appearing in the Washington Times on Monday, outlining the case against Sotomayor.

"When it comes to the landmark 1973 decision Roe v. Wade and the abortion cases that have since made it to the Supreme Court, Sotomayor is no Souter," she writes. "Rather, her record shows that for the overwhelming majority of Americans who support at least some restrictions on abortion, she is worse than Justice Souter — reading a ‘fundamental right’ to abortion into the Constitution."

"Justice Sotomayor’s lack of reflection combined with her record of abortion activism shows that, with her on the court, the unborn would be at greater risk than ever before," she continued.

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