By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 11, 2009 ( – Republican Senator Jim DeMint says that he is troubled by Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor after she told him she had “never thought about” the rights of the unborn child.

“When I asked if an unborn child has any rights whatsoever, I was surprised that she said she had never thought about it,” said DeMint in a statement. ”This is not just a question about abortion, but about the respect due to human life at all stages, and I hope this is cleared up in her hearings.”

The South Carolina senator also expressed concern that Sotomayor “was unwilling to say the Second Amendment protects a fundamental right that applies to all Americans,” which he says “raises serious questions about her view of the Bill of Rights.”

“Those who serve on the highest court in America must have an unwavering commitment to the Constitution and equal justice for all Americans,” DeMint concluded. “I will continue to review Judge Sotomayor’s decisions and public statements and will watch her hearings closely.” 

Although lacking in abortion-related opinions in her 17 years as a judge, senators probing Sotomayor's thoughts in recent weeks have said that the liberal judge is solidly in favor of upholding Roe v. Wade.

Pro-abortion senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) say that Sotomayor assured them she would not tamper with the precedent set by Roe.

Also, a recently-unearthed amicus curiae brief signed by an interest group where Sotomayor served on the board of directors urged the Supreme Court in 1989 to uphold the “fundamental right” to abortion.

Capitol Hill Republicans, who have expressed a desire to slow the confirmation process to examine Sotomayor's record more closely, expressed anger after Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy announced confirmation hearings would start July 13.

See related coverage:

Brief Linked to Sotomayor Endorses “Fundamental Right” to Abortion 

Three Senators Now Say Sotomayor Will Uphold Roe v. Wade 

Senator Feinstein Assures Pro-Aborts: Sotomayor “Respects Precedent” Set by Roe v. Wade 

Is Sotomayor a “Souter” on Roe v. Wade for the Abortion Movement? All Signs Point to No


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