Sotomayor Accused of Contradicting Herself on Involvement in Pro-Abortion Group

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 17, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Sotomayor Accused of Contradicting Herself on Involvement in Pro-Abortion Group

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 17
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — There is no question that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor served on the board of directors of a pro-abortion Hispanic group. What is not known is whether Sotomayor had involvement in or knowledge of several legal briefs the group filed promoting unlimited abortions and taxpayer funding of them.

During questioning yesterday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sotomayor talked about her involvement in the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund.

She told pro-life Sen. Lindsey Graham that she did not participate in reviewing or drafting the legal memos PRLDEF filed with the Supreme Court urging it to allow unrestricted abortion.

"I didn’t review the briefs. I did know that the fund had a health care docket that included challenges to certain limitations on a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy under certain circumstances," she said.

Dawn Eden of Americans United for Life says Sotomayor later "made a serious contradiction of her own testimony" that was "at the very least misleading."

"In addition, she appears to have contradicted the known facts of her involvement with the PRLDEF, based on the minutes of the Fund’s litigation committee that have been made available to the Senate Judiciary Committee," Eden adds.

Looking at Sotomayor’s comments to Graham, Eden says "the word "docket’ refers to pending cases."

"When Sotomayor said she knew the Fund had a ‘docket,’ she was saying that she knew in advance that the Fund was making the argument against" abortion limits, Eden explains. "She knew that opposing common-sense abortion regulations was the Fund’s policy."

"But later, when Sen. [Orrin] Hatch went down the list of PRLDEF briefs, Sotomayor denied she had advance knowledge of the PRLDEF’s legal efforts to fight these ‘limitations’ and she denied she was aware of the Fund’s policy opposing such limitations," Eden says.

Sotomayor told Hatch: "Obviously, it was involved in litigation, so I knew generally they were filing briefs, but I wouldn’t know until after the fact that a brief was actually filed. But I wouldn’t review it."

Eden contends, "Sotomayor here appears to not only be contradicting her previous statement to Sen. Graham, but also contradicting the known facts about her involvement with the PRLDEF."

She points out that the president of PRLDEF has already admitted that Sotomayor’s role was, in part, to "set policy."

Additionally, Eden relates, "there is evidence in the minutes of the meetings of the PRLDEF board’s litigation committee, showing that Sotomayor was responsible for briefing the board on current litigation. Senate Republicans have access to these minutes and have posted information on their Leader Board blog about Sotomayor’s involvement."

Sotomayor was on the Fund’s litigation committee for several years, including 1988 and 1991, and one of the group’s briefs, in the Webster case, was filed in 1989 and a second, in Casey, was filed in 1991.

"So it is very possible that, while on the litigation committee, Sotomayor was involved in preparing those briefs. Besides, she was also on the PRLDEF’s board itself during the entire time that all six of the Fund’s pro-abortion briefs were filed," Eden concludes.

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