Pro-life Leader of The Catholic League Roots for Sotomayor ... Tells GOP Not to Fight "This One"
Writing in The Washington Times, our friend Victor Morton reports on Bill Donohue's surprising announcement of support for the Sotomayor nomination:
A prominent pro-life Catholic says he will be quietly rooting for Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be confirmed to the Supreme Court and said she may even be an improvement over retiring Justice David H. Souter - as both sides of the abortion issue try to discern her position.Victor also gets a quote from another friend of this blog, Steve "Feddie" Dillard:
William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said Judge Sotomayor's record has more bright spots than conservative Catholics can reasonably expect to get from an appointee of President Obama.
"If the Republicans are smart, they would not fight this one," he told The Washington Times in an interview Thursday.
"I wish I knew more about her. But from what we know, it looks like she'll be at least a wash with Souter, and maybe we'll even see improvement."
The White House said that Mr. Obama did not specifically ask her about her views on the issue but that the president is confident she agrees with him on the fundamental constitutional issues.
But pro-choice groups are uncertain about Judge Sotomayor, and this week they called on senators to ask her directly how she would rule on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion.
"We encourage the Senate Judiciary Committee to engage Judge Sotomayor and any future nominees to the Court on their commitment to the principles of Roe v. Wade," said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. "Anything less threatens not only a woman's constitutional rights, but her life and health."
Mr. Donohue was not alone among conservative Catholics in calling for pro-lifers to hold their fire.Exactly right. Donohue concurs:
"My concern is that the people in Obama's on-deck circle are much worse," said Steve Dillard, an adviser to the 2008 presidential campaign of Mike Huckabee and founder of the site Catholics Against Rudy. He called Judge Sotomayor "the best of the worst."
"Do you really want to win this battle only to get Diane Wood?" said Mr. Dillard, a lawyer and former clerk at the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where Judge Wood, whom he called a brilliant radical, sits.
Mr. Donohue also suggested that opposing Judge Sotomayor's confirmation would not be wise in the short term, in terms of who the alternative nominee might be.My Comments:
"I am looking at this pool of likely competitors, and, far and away, Sotomayor is the best candidate," he said, adding that making too big a political fight over the Sotomayor pick "might look like we have an agenda that will not look good to many in the Latino community."
I have a dream:
I have a dream that one day I meet Feddie on a train platform. Associate Justice Sotomayor has just joined the Supreme Court majority in overturning Roe v. Wade in the landmark decision Planned Parenthood v. South Dakota, and I know how thrilled Feddie must be because I am in a similar state of euphoria. We start running through the crowd toward each other, and when we meet, we embrace, laughing and crying. An ecstatic Feddie weeps tears of joy, telling me over and over: “We were right about telling conservatives to hold their fire on Sotomayor! ... We were right!” The two of us are so jubilant, so giddy — practically dancing — that onlookers think we are crazy; but we just keep laughing and yelling and hugging each other because sometimes, there are happy endings.Do I think such a scenario is likely? No. For one thing, the likelihood of Feddie and me appearing on the same train platform is somewhere between slim and none. For another thing, I am fairly sure that Sotomayor is a conventional liberal who would vote to uphold Roe should the opportunity ever present itself.
Still, a guy can dream (and pray) can't he?
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
NY Times: "On Sotomayor, Some Abortion Rights Backers Show Unease"
Round-Up of Reactions to Sotomayor Pick [UPDATED]
Supreme Court-Related Quote of the Day ... [UPDATED]
Sotomayor Blurs Lines in Abortion War [UPDATED]
My Advice for Conservatives Re: Judge Sotomayor [UPDATED]
Conservatives, Liberals, and Supreme Court Picks