The AUL CEO Charmaine Yoest Sends Letter To Senator Kyl on the Sotomayor Hearings


July 8, 2009

Dear Senator Kyl:

Thank you for your service on the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

As you prepare for the hearing of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, nominee to the United States Supreme Court, I urge you on behalf of America’s oldest national pro-life organization, and on behalf of all Americans, to thoroughly question Judge Sotomayor about her judicial philosophy.

To accomplish that goal, we respectfully submit a list of proposed questions to ask during the hearings which would bring the nominee’s judicial philosophy into sharp focus.

These questions will give Judge Sotomayor the opportunity to explain problematic statements that she has made about the role of the judge, and clarify whether she agreed with the radical arguments made by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund (PRLDEF) in the briefs that they submitted to the Supreme Court in abortion-related cases while she served on its Board.

Judge Sotomayor has never disavowed any of the positions argued by the PRLDEF during the twelve years she served as a board member.

Over the past several weeks, Americans United for Life has fought to dispel the myth that Judge Sotomayor’s appointment to the Supreme Court would simply replace one liberal with another.

Our comprehensive legal investigation has led us to conclude that Judge Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy is more extreme than Justice David Souter for many reasons.

Despite his support for Roe vs. Wade, Justice Souter voted repeatedly to uphold laws such as limits on taxpayer funding for abortion, informed consent, and parental notification – which polls show are supported by at least 70 percent of the American public – whereas the PRLDEF consistently argued that such common sense regulations were unconstitutional.

Just recently, Judge Sotomayor stated in an interview with U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) that she had never thought about whether an unborn child has constitutional rights.

This lack of reflection in a time when Americans are more pro-life than ever before can only lead us to believe she is not only completely out of touch with American values, but would threaten the legal protections for unborn children at any stage in pregnancy, including late-term, nearly viable babies.

Senator Kyl, for these reasons and more, please consider asking Judge Sotomayor these questions, which may also be found on

Americans and their elected representatives deserve to learn more about Judge Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy before she is given a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court.


Dr. Charmaine Yoest

President & CEO

Americans United for Life


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