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Justice Sotomayor “shell-shocked” by Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe

by | Jan 5, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

Yesterday Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke by video feed to hundreds of law professors at the Association of American Law Schools’ annual meeting in San Diego, according to Reuters’ Karen Sloan.

The headline to her story read “Sotomayor felt ‘shell-shocked’ after U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion decision.” The lead paragraphs double-downed, going even further:

Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday told legal educators she felt a “sense of despair” at the direction taken by the U.S. Supreme Court during its previous term, during which its conservative majority overturned the constitutional right to abortion.

Sotomayor, who has dissented in major cases including the abortion decision as the court’s 6-3 conservative majority has become increasingly assertive, described herself as “shell-shocked” and “deeply sad” after that term ended in June.

“I did have a sense of despair about the direction my court was going,” Sotomayor said.

The gist of the story was (as quoted above) that the “conservative majority has become increasingly assertive”; that “The conservative justices have shown an increasing willingness to take on divisive issues and steer the court on a rightward path”; and that Justice Sotomayor “said she would continue to ‘tilt at windmills’ and write dissents even though the court has moved steadily to the right.”

Sotomayor went on to say, ‘It’s not an option to fall into despair,” adding “I have to get up and keep fighting.”

Her role is not to look sympathetically on what pro-lifers endured for almost 50 years; she is a hard-core pro-abortionist and could care less. The headline to Ms. Magazine’s flattering story on her performance at the oral arguments read “Dobbs v. Jackson Recap: Seven Times Justice Sotomayor Stood Up for Abortion Rights.”

During those oral arguments, Justice Sotomayor said dismissively, “How is your interest anything but a religious view?” As Mississippi Solicitor General Scott G. Stewart (who defended the law) tried to respond, she interrupted again and again. But, as Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life’s Paul Stark observed

Yet the pro-life position is about justice, not faith or dogma. Opposition to killing unborn humans is no more inherently “religious” than opposition to killing teenagers. Such opposition is supported by empirical science, which shows that embryos and fetuses are living members of our species, and by the principle that all human beings have human rights.

The story ends with Berkeley School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky remarking that “he had never before seen his law students so discouraged about the Supreme Court.”

Sotomayor responded that there is value in lawyers fighting for those who have been wronged even if they do not ultimately prevail.

Sotomayor, appointed to the court by Democratic former President Barack Obama in 2009, expressed optimism that the direction of the court will change in the future.

“It may take time but I believe we will get back on the right added.

Not so. To go back to the jurisprudence of Roe v. Wade would be going off the rails. It took the high court from 1973 until 2022 to get the abortion issue right: it belongs in the states.

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