Day two of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings began with questions from Senators and Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s answers under oath on the issues that impact the lives of our community. This conversation between the Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Judge Sotomayor marks one of the only times in which we will hear her explain her opinion on important issues affecting Latinas and all women. The right of privacy, upholding precedent and settled law such as Roe v. Wade were among the legal issues discussed during the second day of the hearings and are critical to ensure the reproductive rights and liberties of all Latinas. Click here to see the video of Judge Sotomayor answering these important questions.
Judge Sotomayor reiterated once and again throughout the hearing that respecting precedent is what gives the law stability and that her 17-year record as a Judge proves that in her court, precedent and the rule of law are of utmost importance. Senator Herb Kohl asked her opinion on the right to privacy in the Griswold case, which laid foundation for Roe v. Wade. He asked her, specifically, if she considered Roe to be settled law. Sotomayor clearly stated that Casey v. Planned Parenthood, which reaffirmed that the decision in Roe is “the Supreme Court’s settled interpretation of what the core holding is [reaffirmed the decision of the case].”
Clearly, Judge Sotomayor has not expressed a personal opinion for or against abortion, but she has expressed unwavering respect for precedent, which for us means that she supports the decisions in Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood.
Senators also questioned how her background and experiences as a Latina would influence her decisions as a Justice. Sotomayor stated that, as her 17-year record proves, she has set aside any prejudices and stuck to the law. She reaffirmed this many times throughout the hearing.
What this means for Latinas:
- A U.S. Supreme Court Justice that upholds and respects precedent will protect the right to privacy established in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion. It is critical that a U.S. Supreme Court Justice protect the rights and liberties that promote the dignity and well-being of our families and communities.
- Judge Sotomayor clearly articulated her respect for the Roe decision, which is an extremely promising indicator of her commitment to upholding the reproductive rights established by that landmark decision.