Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is Sotomayor Even Pro Choice? Pro Gay Rights? Does Obama Even Know?

Does President Obama know if Sonia Sotomayor is pro choice? Does the fierce advocate know where his Supreme Court Justice nominee stands on gay rights or same-sex marriage?

No one else appears to know. Like a lot of folks, I've been googling Sotomayor since yesterday. There's not a lot out there and what is out there is not reassuring. Given how little thought Obama gives to his base, or to bedrock lefty issues like choice and gay rights, we should all be worried.

Clearly hard questions need to be asked by the left. Senate Democrats must be pressured to be more than a rubber stamp for Obama and to ascertain that a Justice Sotomayor will come down on the side of abortion rights and LGBT rights.

But you will be happy to know that the National Organization for Women is not asking any questions, but rather "cheers" Obama's choice. There are a plenty of things to like about Sotomayor, but a feminist organization like NOW should show a little caution and ask some hard questions before fully embracing the nominee. Or NOW could simply trust the fierce advocate. What NOW does best these days is serve as sweetly feminine cheerleaders for Democrats. Scroll down for a message from the Center for Reproductive Rights contrasted with what is, in my view, an utterly nauseating message from your sweetly feminine National Organization Cheerleaders for Women Democrats.

Fortunately, there are other women's organizations:

For over three decades, the topic that matters the most during a Senate confirmation hearing for an aspiring member of the U.S. Supreme Court has remained the same: abortion. . .

[T[he 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."

. . Steve Waldman of 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..."

. . Assuming Sotomayor can gracefully decline to answer questions about abortion rights (and related penumbras and emanations) during her Senate confirmation hearings, Roe v. Wade won't trip up her expected confirmation.

From the Center for Reproductive Rights:

“It is critical that any new Justice empathize with the true plight of women to not only recognize when those protections are being violated, but to take steps to safeguard them. We encourage the Senate Judiciary Committee to engage Judge Sotomayor and any future nominees to the Court on their commitment to the principles of Roe v. Wade. Anything less threatens not only a woman’s constitutional rights, but her life and health.”

And here's your feminist (sic) message from the alleged National Organization for Women (NOW):

"This morning we will celebrate, and this afternoon NOW will launch our "Confirm Her" campaign to ensure the swift confirmation of the next Supreme Court Justice. . What more do women want? We want a swift confirmation in the U.S. Senate, and Associate Justice Sotomayor to join Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Court before the Senate's August recess."

Update: Dr. Violet Socks has an important post about NOW's upcoming election.