Sonia Sotomayor Worse on Abortion Than David Souter, Pro-Life Leader Says

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 23, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Sonia Sotomayor Worse on Abortion Than David Souter, Pro-Life Leader Says

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 23
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — In a new editorial column appearing in the Washington Times, Charmaine Yoest, the president of Americans United for Life, makes the case that Sonia Sotomayor is worse on abortion than David Souter, the Supreme Court justice President Barack Obama appointed her to replace.

"Team Obama knows something most Americans don’t. 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," Yoest contends.

"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," Yoest continues.

Yoest explains that Souter has supported some abortion limits even though he is part of the six member majority that supports legal abortions.

"He has refused to take the opportunity, in cases such as Planned Parenthood v. Casey, to re-examine the judicial basis for permitting legal abortion. But when it comes to common-sense restrictions on abortion, Justice Souter has voted repeatedly to uphold laws such as informed consent and parental notification," she explains.

"Not so Justice Sotomayor, whose activism before becoming a federal judge reveals strong and consistent opposition to common-sense regulations," Yoest writes in the Times.

The pro-life hierophant bases her assessment of Sotomayor on her leadership role with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund where, from 1980 to 1992, she was a governing board member.

The New York Times notes that Sotomayor "was an involved and ardent supporter of their various legal efforts."

Yoest points out, "Those efforts included no less than six briefs in five abortion-related cases before the Supreme Court — pushing aggressively for an interpretation of abortion rights that would eliminate most or all state and federal abortion regulations while requiring state and federal funding of abortion."

In two of the legal briefs, "the PRLDEF’s briefs took positions more extreme than those of Justice Souter, who joined with the court’s majority to uphold restrictions the fund wanted struck down," Yoest added.

Ultimately, "Justice Sotomayor has never disavowed any of the PRLDEF’s briefs, which are packed with the kind of extreme rhetoric more typical of left-wing blogs than of serious legal documents."

And, when Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, asked Justice Sotomayor last week if the unborn had any rights, Sotomayor answered she had "never thought about it."

"Justice Souter, for all his liberal rulings, has at least given some thought to the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves," Yoest concludes. "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."

Related web sites:
Yoest’s editorial

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