Media Reacts to Sotomayor Pick
Unsurpringly, the media world — mainstream and blogosphere, progressive and conservative, non-partisan and very partisan — is all aflutter with reactions to President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. The National Review offers a roundup of its own, of editorial page reactions to Sotomayor’s nomination. The New York Times’s Caucus Blog
covers the advocacy group reaction; progressive groups have fewer
resources for the fight, but aren’t particularly worried about it;
conservative groups, predictably, are using Sotomayor’s nomination as
fuel to fire up their bases. CBS News looks at the likely impact of the nomination on abortion rights, and describes Sotomayor’s opinion against the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (now the Center for Reproductive Rights) thus:
While the issue at stake in the case was free speech under the
First Amendment and due process, not abortion rights, Sotomayor did end
up siding with the Bush administration. "The Supreme Court has made
clear that the government is free to favor the anti-abortion position
over the pro-choice position, and can do so with public funds," she
wrote in an opinion joined by the other two judges on the panel.
Characterizing the reactions of those both in pro-choice and pro-life camps, CBS reports,
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 Beliefnet.com 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…"
On Huffington Post, Laura Dean observes that right-wing groups haven’t condemned Sotomayor outright:
Sotomayor "gives us some room for optimism" with respect to issues of
historic importance to socially conservative groups, said Bruce
Hausknecht, a judicial analyst at Focus on the Family. On issues of
"abortion funding and protesting…[and] also on religious speech and
religious freedom, she applied the law correctly," he added. The
reference was to Sotomayor’s dismissal of a claim from abortion rights
group that challenged the "global gag rule" on first amendment grounds.
KHOU.com observes that Sotomayor’s record still leaves quite a bit of ambiguity on her position on abortion:
For all her support on the legal left, Sotomayor’s legal and
personal views on abortion are largely unknown. Abortion rights
activists issued supportive statements Tuesday about Sotomayor, but
they were notably vague on the key issue of whether she can be counted
on to uphold a woman’s legal right to end a pregnancy.
The president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Nancy Keenan, praised
Sotomayor’s “distinguished record” and “impressive personal biography,”
but stopped short of the full-throated endorsement the group might have
accorded to other nominees.
“We look forward to learning more about Judge Sotomayor’s views on
the right to privacy and the landmark Roe v. Wade decision as the
Senate’s hearing process moves forward,” Keenan wrote.
It’s enough to prompt Beliefnet’s Steven Waldman
to wonder whether Sotomayor is an "abortion centrist" — one of his
pieces of evidence is that "though we certainly can’t generalize, it is
the case that Hispanics are the most pro-life members of the Democratic
And, finally, the Washington Post provides the White House’s backgrounder on Sotomayor’s biography and professional accomplishments.
Other News to Note
May 27: Daily Gazette (Schenectady): No common ground for abortion foes or friends
May 27: Jackson Sun: Abortion cannot be legislated
May 27: Therapeutics Daily: HRA Pharma wins marketing authorization for emergency contraceptive
May 27: WFIN: Pro-Life group settles with city of Findlay
May 26: Mercury News/WaPo: Judge has said gender, ethnicity make a difference
May 27: Denver Post: Harsanyi: Abortion debate changing
May 27: The Post and Courier: Democrats to meet on abortion bill
May 27: Forbes: Obama’s Cultural Peace-Keeping Mission
May 26: Loudoun Independent: The Dartboard: Liberty at Liberty University
May 27: WaPo: This Is Liberty?
May 26: Bio-Medicine.org: Planned Parenthood Urges Gov. Schwarzenegger to Rescind Harmful Budget Cuts to Women’s Health Care
May 26: EurekAlert!: New report on federal family planning program
May 26: Christian Post: Liberty University Officials Set Record Straight on College Democrats Decision
May 27: The Herald (UK): Abortion ‘a form of contraception on demand’
May 26: The New Vision (Uganda): MPs warn on Depo Provera family planning method
May 26: HuffPo: Sonia Sotomayor: 10 Things You Should Know
May 26: OneNewsNow: Contraceptive hormone linked to breast cancer, teens at risk
May 26: USA Today: Sotomayor: What could a sixth Catholic mean for high court?
May 26: Yemen News Agency: Family planning methods course launched in Hadramout
May 26: American Prospect: ARE DOCTORS BIASED AGAINST NON-HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL?
May 26: HuffPo: How The Media Will Smear Sotomayor (VIDEO)
May 26: US News & World Report: Sotomayor Blurs Lines in Abortion War
May 26: Catholic Online: Opinion: Polls and ‘The abortion confusion’
May 26: BBC News: Disappointment over abortion rise
May 25: CBN: Pro-Life Pharmacists Say Beliefs Before Business
May 25: Grimsby Telegraph (UK): Shadow Health Secretary praises Telegraph’s sex survey
May 26: Jakarta Post: City revives dormant family planning campaign