Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Round-Up of Reactions to Sotomayor Pick [UPDATED]

At Catholics in the Public Square, Chris Blosser has an excellent round-up of the reactions around the blogosphere to President Obama's choice of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by retiring Justice David Souter.

Also, the CBSNews blog Political Hotsheet has some very interesting reactions to this nomination coming from abortion supporters: "Sotomayor Nomination Renews Roe V. Wade Debate":

... Another reason why both pro-choice and pro-life groups will be paying close attention to Sotomayor's views is the example of retiring Justice David Souter, whose seat she was chosen to fill. Conservatives are still smarting from President George H.W. Bush's choice of Souter, who was little-known at the time and was selected in part because the elder Bush wanted to avoid a bruising Bork-era confirmation battle.

That example is probably why the Center for Reproductive Rights signaled some concern on Tuesday, saying that it wants the Senate Judiciary committee to verify Sotomayor's "commitment to the principles of Roe v. Wade." An e-mail message from the group asks supporters to lobby Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to require "full disclosure.

Meanwhile, liberal activists on the Daily Kos blog are already fretting that "Sotomayor is a stealth ANTI-CHOICE supreme court pick." Steve Waldman of suggests that the nominee is "an abortion centrist." And some Catholic pro-life bloggers are saying :"We've dodged a bullet. It could have been much worse..."

Just the fact that there are hard-core abortion supporters out there who have big-time doubts about the nominee ought to be a clue to the pro-life organizations that maybe they need to re-evaluate and tone down their knee-jerk condemnations of the Sotomayor pick.

Again, I'm not saying she's a stealth anti-Roe vote. In fact, as I've said previously, I believe her to be a conventional liberal who, if given the chance, would likely vote to uphold Roe. That said, the over-the-top rhetoric coming from pro-life organizations is obviously misplaced, especially given Judge Sotomayor's sparse record in this regard and the unmistakeable concern emanating from the pro-abortion crowd.

Posting at Mirror of Justice and commenting at The American Catholic, Notre Dame Law Professor Rick Garnett notes that Judge Sotomayor "has a pretty good track record on religious-liberty and 'religion in the public square' cases":
Prof. Howard Friedman, at the "Religion Clause" blog, has collected Judge Sotomayor's religious-freedom decisions, here. In my view, notwithstanding the (unsurprising) fact that my strong preference would have been for Justice Souter to have been replaced by someone selected by Pres. McCain, Judge Sotomayor's religious-liberty decisions -- especially her dissent in Hankins (on the ministerial exception) -- are encouraging.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
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

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At 5/27/2009 10:47 AM, Blogger LargeBill said...

I don't think Sotomayor has had much chance to rule on the issue since it has been treated as settled law by a higher court. I think the knee jerk response is partly an automatic thing based on comments by candidate Obama that he would have a pro-abortion litmus test for SCOTUS nominees. The general assumption is Obama is so firmly in the pro-abortion camp that he would make sure his nominee shared that view.

At 5/27/2009 4:28 PM, Blogger Jeff Miller said...

I pretty much agree with your analysis. Thankfully Diane Wood did not get the nod and there is at least a chance (however small) that she won't be reflexively pro-abortion on the court. But of course the Republicans can not stop the nomination even if her record had been much worse.

At 5/27/2009 11:33 PM, Blogger craig said...

I say Soto gets confirmed right after she produces her birth certificate proving she was born in Puerto Rico.


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