Top Senate Judiciary Republican Jeff Sessions Will Oppose Sonia Sotomayor

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 24, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Top Senate Judiciary Republican Jeff Sessions Will Oppose Sonia Sotomayor

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 24
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The leading Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee says he will vote against the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, who may replace pro-abortion Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. If confirmed, pro-life groups are concerned that Sotomayor would promote abortion on the high court.

As several other leading Republicans in the Senate made known last week, Sessions says he can’t vote for Sotomayor and cited her penchant for judicial activism.

Sessions says he doesn’t think she will be able to get away from it should she become a member of the high court.

"During three days of careful questioning, Judge Sotomayor renounced the pillars of activist thinking," he wrote in an editorial explaining his position in USA Today.

He continued: "She rejected the president’s ’empathy standard’ abandoned her statements that a judge’s ‘opinions, sympathies and prejudices’ may guide decision-making, dismissed remarks that personal experiences should ‘affect the facts that judges choose to see,’ brushed aside her repeated wise Latina’ comment as ‘a rhetorical flourish,’ and championed judicial restraint."

"Judge Sotomayor’s attempt to rebrand her previously stated judicial approach was, as one editorial page opined, ‘uncomfortably close to disingenuous,’" Sessions explained. "Why not defend the philosophy she had articulated so carefully over the years?"

"I don’t believe that Judge Sotomayor has the deep-rooted convictions necessary to resist the siren call of judicial activism. She has evoked its mantra too often," he concluded.

As the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to vote Tuesday on her bid, pro-life Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the number two Republican on the panel, became the first GOP lawmaker on the committee to say he would oppose her.

"I remain unconvinced that Judge Sotomayor believes judges should set aside biases, including those based on race and gender, and render the law impartially and neutrally," Kyl said.

"Her answers answered nothing," Kyl said about her contention she wouldn’t be an activist judge once confirmed.

So far, only four other Republicans — Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Richard Lugar of Indiana and Mel Martinez of Florida — have announced they will vote for Sotomayor.

Ten Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky have said they will vote against the nomination.

Yesterday, leading pro-abortion group NARAL endorsed Sotomayor citing her comments during the confirmation hearings that she supports Roe v. Wade and that Obama promised pro-abortion judges during the presidential election.

Sotomayor has come under opposition from most pro-life groups because of all of the evidence showing she would likely support abortion on the high court.

They also point to her involvement in a pro-abortion group that repeatedly called on the Supreme Court to allow all abortions paid for at taxpayer expense.

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.

Roe v. Wade, handed down in 1973 along with Doe v. Bolton, allowed abortions throughout pregnancy for virtually any reason and has resulted in more than 50 million abortions since then.

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