By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 12, 2009 ( – A Washington Times editorial on Wednesday unveiled further evidence of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's support for unlimited abortion rights. The paper revealed the contents of four more amicus curiae briefs authored under Sotomayor, urging the Supreme Court not to “overturn or in any way restrict” Roe v. Wade.

The first such brief from the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), where Sotomayor served as a board member between 1980 and 1992, was unearthed in late May and addressed the 1989 Supreme Court case Webster v. Reproductive Health Cases.

The brief, signed by several interest groups, stated: “All Amici share an urgent concern that the Court clearly and unequivocally reaffirm Roe v. Wade. … They fear that any tampering with the right to abortion recognized in Roe will have a powerful, adverse impact on the liberty, equality and health of poor women and women of color.”  

The brief also affirmed that Roe v. Wade recognized a “fundamental right” to abortion without which women “were stripped of the right of self-determination that is a given for men.”

The Times reports that similar briefs were issued under Sotomayor to the Supreme Court cases Williams v. Zbaraz, Rust v. Sullivan, Ohio v. Akron Center, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

While board members are not necessarily directly involved in such briefs, a May 28 New York Times article said the PRLDEF board “monitored all litigation undertaken by the fund's lawyers,” and described Sotomayor as “an involved and ardent supporter of their various legal efforts.”

“She just believed in the mission,” former board chairman Luis Alvarez said of Sotomayor.

Several former members testified to the Times that “Ms. Sotomayor stood out, frequently meeting with the legal staff to review the status of cases” throughout her twelve years, serving at times as board member, vice president, and chairman of the litigation committee. 

Following a recent meeting with Sotomayor, pro-life Senator Jim DeMint expressed concern that the judge said she had “never thought about” the rights of the unborn child. DeMint's account corresponds to the impression of pro-abortion senators, who say their meetings with Sotomayor satisfied them that she would “respect precedent” set by Roe v. Wade.

See related coverage:

Senator: Sotomayor Says She “Never Thought About” Rights of Unborn 

Brief Linked to Sotomayor Endorses “Fundamental Right” to Abortion 

Three Senators Now Say Sotomayor Will Uphold Roe v. Wade Three Senators Now Say Sotomayor Will Uphold Roe v. Wade


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