In nearly 11 years as a federal appeals court judge,
President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, has
never directly ruled on whether the Constitution protects a woman’s
right to an abortion. But when she has written opinions that touched
tangentially on abortion disputes, she has reached outcomes in some
cases that were favorable to abortion opponents.
And some that were not.
Now, some abortion rights advocates are quietly
expressing unease that Judge Sotomayor may not be a reliable vote to
uphold Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision. In a
letter, Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, urged
supporters to press senators to demand that Judge Sotomayor reveal her
views on privacy rights before any confirmation vote.
“Discussion about Roe v. Wade will — and must — be part of this
nomination process,” Ms. Keenan wrote. “As you know, choice hangs in
the balance on the Supreme Court as the last two major choice-related
cases were decided by a 5-to-4 margin.”
Because Judge Sotomayor is the choice of a president who supports
abortion rights at a time when Democrats hold a substantial majority in
the Senate, both sides in the debate have tended to assume she could be
counted on to preserve the Roe decision.
Funny how that choice issue works.
More on this to come. Much more, by the looks of it.