Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sotomayor Remains Elusive on Abortion

Wash. Post: Sotomayor Avoids Pointed Queries, by Amy Goldstein, Paul Kane, & Robert Barnes:

Before nominating Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, President Obama did not ask her about abortion rights or any other "specific legal issue," she testified yesterday as she sidestepped senators' efforts to plumb her views on matters from campaign finance law to the workload of the court she is likely to join.

As she progressed through the third day of her confirmation hearings, with no sign of a major mishap so far that would derail her approval by a heavily Democratic Senate, Sotomayor relaxed -- yet took no chances. She joked openly with members of the Judiciary Committee while increasingly avoiding their questions.

Sotomayor also skirted a series of pointed questions from Cornyn and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) about her views on abortion rights. Coburn, one of the Senate's leading abortion opponents and a physician who has delivered hundreds of babies, asked how she would handle a case involving a woman seeking to abort a fetus at 38 weeks after learning the baby had spina bifida.

"I can't answer that question in the abstract because I would have to look at what the state of the state's law was on that question," Sotomayor said. She recited portions of the 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld a right to an abortion but allowed some restrictions so long as they do not place an "undue burden" on the woman's rights. "The question is: Is the state regulation regulating what a woman does an undue burden?" she said. . . .

Abortion, Congress, Supreme Court | Permalink

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