US Supreme Court Nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor – Is She Pro-Choice?

President Obama has just done one of the most important acts, perhaps the most important act, a president can do. He has nominated someone to the US Supreme Court – a position for which there are no term limits, other than death.

As the GOP was sure they would oppose whomever Obama might nominate, the Democrats were equally confident they’d be cheering.

Well, today the announcement came and constituents of neither party should have any clue how they feel.

We know very little if anything about nominee Federal Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s position on abortion and reproductive rights.

As A Candid World, A Short Series about Sotomayor; Abortion wrote, “In today’s judicial confirmation battles, there’s really only one subject that matters: abortion. Justice Souter’s confirmation taught the right not to simply trust a nominee to vote the preferred way on the issue, and Democrats ought to have learned the same lesson.”  

Reproductive rights groups should be very nervous because even Steven Ertelt, editor of  anti-choice, does not have any concrete problems with her and sees no reason that Republican senators will oppose her.

Sotomayor has not directly issued any rulings on abortion rights but has been involved in three cases:
1. Center for Reproductive Law & Policy v. Bush, 304 F.3d 183 The plaintiff was a public interest organization that challenged the “Mexico City Policy,” a.k.a. the “global gag rule” and its provisions that denied  U.S. aid to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that informed about or performed abortions.  Sotomayor authored the opinion which dismissed the case for lack of standing.

The anti-choice group Americans United for Life was pleased with the decision.

2. Port Washington Teachers’ Association v. Board of Education, 478 F.3d 494 (2d Cir. 2007). was the second case. Teachers challenged a school district policy which was trying to get teachers to report student pregnancies to the student’s parents.  The case was dismissed for lack of standing because the policy was considered voluntary and thus no consequences could befall teachers who did not adhere to it.

3.  Amnesty America v. Town of West Hartford was the third case. The anti-choice demonstrators argued that police had used excessive force against them at a demonstration. Sotomayor, the sole author of the decision, found in favor of the anti-choice group and against the police.

Not surprisingly, anti-choice groups applauded each of these decisions.

After eight long years of a right wing administration that worked tirelessly to strip women of their independence and right to privacy, we cannot risk a mistake by President Obama.

There is an old line from The Odd Couple: “When you assume you make an ass of u and me.” We cannot afford to ass-u-me.

 Knowing that she is a woman and an hispanic woman at that, is not enough. We need to know that she is a woman’s  woman.

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