Sotomayor: Who Sleeps Better at Night, AUL or NARAL? Charmaine Interviewed in USA Today And by AP


Alert Readers following on Twitter know that Charmaine has been in a number of media interviews.

Sometimes as a source.

Sometimes as a target.

See her quote in USA Today this morning on the Sotomayor nomination,

Sotomayor, a trial judge for six years and appellate judge for 11, has not ruled on a case involving Roe v. Wade. She has decided a few cases at the fringes of the issue, yet those defy predictions.

On Wednesday, Feinstein explained why she will persist on the abortion rights question: “I remember what it was like when abortion was illegal, and the lives of young desperate women were in jeopardy.” She said she worries that “Americans no longer appreciate what it would mean if (abortion rights) were taken away.”

Nominees usually elude such questions during their hearings.

“I don’t have concerns about this nominee in the sense that I think there is something on the record (against abortion rights),” says Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “We just think it’s important for Supreme Court nominees to say where they stand.”

Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, agrees. While observing that she and Northup both see nothing definitive in Sotomayor’s record, Yoest says, “I think Nancy’s probably sleeping a little better at night.”

JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS at AP interviewed Charmaine for GOP leader doesn’t rule out Sotomayor filibuster

Abortion-rights opponents circulated a 1988 legal brief joined by the PRLDEF that took a position in strong support of abortion rights and argued strenuously against dismantling the underpinnings of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established a woman’s right to end her pregnancy.

The brief, submitted to the Supreme Court to support a challenge to a Missouri law making it illegal to use public officials or facilities for abortions, warns of “the danger of tampering with the core framework of Roe v. Wade.” The brief said doing so would disproportionately harm poor women of color. The high court ultimately upheld the Missouri law in the case, Webster v. Reproductive Health Services.

There is no evidence or indication that Sotomayor had any role in drafting the brief, or the PRLDEF’s decision to join it. Cesar A. Perales, now the group’s president, said its board has never been involved in deciding which cases the organization takes on or matters of litigation. Board members sometimes do, however, help decide which legal issues the organization should focus on, Perales said.

But abortion-rights opponents said the brief raises questions about Sotomayor’s stance on Roe.

“It’s explicitly a pro-abortion argument,” said Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life. “That specific case makes it very difficult for her to say that she doesn’t have a position” on abortion rights.

Other citations on Sotomayor,

CitizenLink reports,

In a recent poll commissioned by Americans United for Life, 69 percent of respondents said they do not want a Supreme Court justice who opposes “making it illegal for someone to take a girl younger than the age of 18 across state lines to obtain abortions without her parents’ knowledge.”

The Catholic Review writes

Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, a public-interest law and policy organization, said in a statement that “for all the president’s talk of finding ‘common ground,’ this appointment completely contradicts that hollow promise.” Without explaining why, Yoest said Sotomayor’s “judicial philosophy undermines common ground” and called her “a radical pick that divides America.”

Be sure to follow on Twitter, Jack and Charmaine.


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