White House, Senator Debate Papers Linking Sotomayor to Pro-Abortion Group
by Steven Ertelt
July 3, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The White House and a pro-life senator who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee are debating new papers linking Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor to a pro-abortion group. The papers show Sotomayor set policy for an organization that aggressively backs abortion.
The papers could shed light on Sotomayor’s judicial approach and her link to the Puerto Rican civil rights group and its pro-abortion position is concerning.
Sotomayor served as a board member of the organization and has been described as actively involved in setting policy. It filed six different Supreme Court briefs all saying abortions should be unlimited and paid for at taxpayer expense.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican, responded, "During her time there, the organization took extreme positions on legal issues ranging from the death penalty to abortion to racial quotas."
Sessions said it was "absurd" for the White House to call the documents irrelevant.
White House Counsel Greg Craig told AP that the papers and links to the group shouldn’t affect Sotomayor because she didn’t write the legal briefs nor did she approve them.
Craig claimed there is "confusion about Judge Sotomayor’s role with PRLDEF, and that confusion may account for" the opposition to her based on the group’s pro-abortion agenda.
Sessions noted, however, that Sotomayor held leadership posts on the group’s board.
"What role did Judge Sotomayor play in the decision" to endorse abortion, he asked.
Sen. Patrick Leahy also talked with the Associated Press and he claimed the ties to the pro-abortion group are an excuse to oppose Sotomayor.
He said Republicans "were going to object no matter who it was. And several of them have told me that privately."
The new documents also show that the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, now known as Latino Justice, took a strong stance against pro-life Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork.
The Senate went on to reject President Ronald Reagan’s high court pick in 1987 after abortion advocates subjected him to intense criticism.
Cesar Perales, PRLDEF’s president and general counsel, told AP after the release of the new documents that Sotomayor’s role was to "help us raise funds, set policy, hire the person who would run the organization."
However, the vicious nature of the attacks on Bork by Sotomayor’s group and others was so beyond the pale that political observers would say that future nominees who might be strenuously opposed got "Borked."
Last month, Sotomayor made a comment during a meeting with one senator that also sent shockwaves throughout the pro-life community.
Senator Jim DeMint, a pro-life Republican from South Carolina, says he had a "good meeting" with the appeals court judge, but he came away with a telling comment.
"When I asked if an unborn child has any rights whatsoever, I was surprised that she said she had never thought about it," he said. "This is not just a question about abortion, but about respect due to human life at all stages — and I hope this is cleared up in her hearings."
Sotomayor has also come under fire for saying she regretted the adoption of a Congressional bill that prevented the Legal Services Corporation from spending taxpayer funds litigating in favor of abortion.
Two key pro-abortion senators have also said they think she will uphold unlimited abortions if confirmed to the high court.
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