Dump pro-life Sotomayor she's Catholic.

This piece that appeared on MSNBC seems to be a veiled attempt to disarm conservative critics of Sotomayor. It is little more than an insult to the intellect of the conservative thinker.

The headline boldly proclaims:

On Sotomayor, abortion backers show unease
Supreme Court pick may not be a reliable vote to uphold Roe v. Wade

Read the unedited fairy tale here (excerpts in bold):

This is obviously directed towards the conservative critics of this liberal appointment. The thinking being, I guess, that if conservatives are thrown a bone they will disappear quietly once again into the background. Not so fast.

WASHINGTON - In nearly 11 years as a federal appeals court judge, President Obama's choice for the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, has never directly ruled on whether the constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion. But when she has written opinions that touched tangentially on abortion disputes, she has reached outcomes in some cases that were favorable to abortion opponents.

I guess this is the point where I was supposed to breathe a sigh of relief and perhaps quietly convince myself she is not so bad after all. To the contrary her lack of a discernable voting record on abortion is more disconcerting than it is comforting.

Now, some abortion rights advocates are quietly expressing unease that Judge Sotomayor may not be a reliable vote to uphold Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision. In a letter, Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, urged supporters to press senators to demand that Judge Sotomayor reveal her views on privacy rights before any confirmation vote.

Have no fear; I am sure that killing innocent babies will remain perfectly legal under Obama’s watchful eye. His past record on barbarous acts such as partial birth abortion seem to leave little doubt as to his agenda.

“Discussion about Roe v. Wade will — and must — be part of this nomination process,” Ms. Keenan wrote. “As you know, choice hangs in the balance on the Supreme Court as the last two major choice-related cases were decided by a 5-to-4 margin.”

This is nothing more than another manufactured outrage and a lame attempt to lure unwary conservatives into the fold. I hope that most see it as I do and do not drop their guard. Mostly I hope our Republican leadership will rediscover their long lost backbone and along with it a few conservative principles.

Because Judge Sotomayor is the choice of a president who supports abortion rights at a time when Democrats hold a substantial majority in the Senate, both sides in the debate have tended to assume she could be counted on to preserve the Roe decision.

Neither side will be disappointed I’m sure.

Immediately after Mr. Obama announced his selection on Tuesday, leaders of several other abortion rights groups spoke out in support of Judge Sotomayor, and several conservative groups opposed to abortion rights attacked her, saying they were convinced that the president would not nominate someone who opposed abortion rights.

But in his briefing to reporters on Tuesday, the White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs
, was asked whether Mr. Obama had asked Judge Sotomayor about abortion or privacy rights. Mr. Gibbs replied that Mr. Obama “did not ask that specifically.”

Really, I sincerely doubt that is accurate. He would be as likely to forget to ask for Dijon mustard to go with his hamburger as to forget to ask this fundamental question.

Results favorable to abortion opponents None of the cases in Judge Sotomayor’s record dealt directly with the legal theory underlying Roe v. Wade — that the Constitution contains an unwritten right to privacy in reproductive decisions as a matter of so-called substantive due process. Several of her opinions invoke substantive due process in other areas, however, like the rights of parents and prisoners.

“The Supreme Court has made clear that the government is free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position,” she wrote, “and can do so with public funds.”
In a 2004 case,
she largely sided with some anti-abortion protesters who wanted to sue some police officers for allegedly violating their constitutional rights by using excessive force to break up demonstrations at an abortion clinic. Judge Sotomayor said the protesters deserved a day in court.

That seems to be a matter of common sense. But let me get this right, because she thought a case should be heard regarding excessive use of force by police, she must be pro-life? The leap of logic here boggles the mind, unless of course the intent is simply to mislead.

Imigration casesJudge Sotomayor has also ruled on several immigration cases involving people fighting deportation orders to China on the grounds that its population-control policy of forcible abortions and birth control constituted persecution.

In a 2007 case, she strongly criticized colleagues on the court who said that only women, and not their husbands, could seek asylum based on China’s abortion policy. “The termination of a wanted pregnancy under a coercive population control program can only be devastating to any couple, akin, no doubt, to the killing of a child,” she wrote, also taking note of “the unique biological nature of pregnancy and special reverence every civilization has accorded to child-rearing and parenthood in marriage.”

Phillip Jauregui, president of the conservative Judicial Action Group, said he was not convinced by any anti-abortion overtones to such rulings because, he said, even “the most radical feminist” would object to forcing women to abort wanted pregnancies.

That seems like a more reasonable assessment of the situation as opposed to reading in some sort of pro-life stance that is not supported by the facts. What happened to journalism?

Mr. Waldman of also noted that Judge Sotomayor was raised Roman Catholic, although there are many judges who do not follow the church’s dogma — like opposing abortion and the death penalty — in their jurisprudence.

Many Senators and Congressman as well as evidenced by the ex-communication of some of them. There are a number of Catholic politicians who subscribe to the buffet style of Catholicism; I’ll of some of that, none of this and a little of that. I guess it works for them.

Moreover, he said, it is significant that as a group, Hispanics include a higher percentage of abortion opponents than many other parts of the Democratic Party's coalition. Judge Sotomayor’s parents moved from Puerto Rico.

“At the very least, she grew up in a culture that didn’t hold the pro-life position in contempt,” Mr. Waldman said.

And by extension that obviously means she is pro-life. Good case closed; confirm her immediately. (Not so much) Just as a side note, if a conservative had made such a blanket statement about Hispanics there would be a riot in the streets.

Mr. Jauregui said he agreed with Ms. Keenan that Judge Sotomayor ought to say what she believed about Roe v. Wade before any confirmation vote.

“I don’t think, when we’re talking about a job as important as a justice who could serve for decades, that it’s acceptable for someone to be stealth,” he said.

Unlike the Justice she is replacing, Liberals did not seem to have any problem with Souter being a “stealth” appointment. I do however agree with at least one point; someone should ask her what she thinks. All this speculation if pointless as far as determining the facts go.

I have two fundamental issues with this non-story:

1. The pro-life non-issue is being bandied about for no other reason than to make this liberal appointment more palatable to conservatives. This assumes facts not in evidence. Primarily that the only issue conservatives have with Sotomayor is abortion. I think most conservatives would agree that her ultra-liberal stance on the constitution would be enough to exclude her without any other issue even being taken into account.

2. This story is based entirely on speculation and lacks any basis for making the assumption that she is pro-life. The article points out that she has not voted directly on the issue.

Again I ask; what has happened to journalism in this country?

When all is said and done I think we will find she is as liberal on the abortion issue as she is on every other issue.

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