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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sotomayor's Past Indicate Pro-Choice Beliefs, Dashes Conservatives' Hopes

With people like Rush expressing hopes that Judge Sotomayor is a closet pro-lifer, it is a huge downer to learn about her history in pro-abortion advocacy groups:

Consider that from 1980 until October 1992, Judge Sotomayor served on the board -- at times as vice president and at times as chairman of the litigation committee -- of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. The New York Times in 1992 described her as "a top policy maker on the board." During that time period, the fund filed briefs in not one, not two, but at least six prominent court cases in strong support of "abortion rights."

The cases began with an abortion-funding case, Williams v. Zbaraz, just as she joined the board, and they continued through the landmark cases of Rust v. Sullivan, Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Especially in the Webster case, in which all nine justices joined at least part of the decision saying that states need not provide public funds for abortions, the fund supported positions far more pro-abortion than the court itself did. Also, in the case Ohio v. Akron Center, the fund wrote that it "opposes any efforts to overturn or in any way restrict the rights recognized in Roe v. Wade."

No statement could be more categorical. The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund thus presumably would oppose any restriction, including those on late-term abortions, partial-birth abortions, abortions for minors and the like.

Some were speculating that since she is a Catholic she might be pro-life. After all, most Catholics are pro-life. There weren't any of her opinions to abortion related cases that seemed to indicate otherwise. So, conservative pundits were trying to find the silver lining and say that she might secretly hold pro-life beliefs. However, this new revelation unfortunately seems to put that theory to rest.

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