July 14th, 2009
11:18 AM ET
10 years ago

Sotomayor calls Roe v. Wade abortion ruling 'settled' law

Sonia Sotomayor said Tuesday that the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade is a matter of settled law.

Sonia Sotomayor said Tuesday that the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade is a matter of settled law.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Judge Sotomayor said Tuesday the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion, is a matter of "settled" law.

While refusing to offer her personal view of the decision, she noted that the core holding in Roe was reaffirmed in the 1992 ruling Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Sotomayor made her remarks in response to a question from Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin, during the second day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearings.


Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. yes, but what will the religious right do?

    you are suggesting that one of the big rallying points for the religious right is settled... they will never let that happen

    too much money at stake

    July 14, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. citizenjane

    And will remain "settled" law.

    July 14, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Emma

    What a grandstanding opportunity for the legislators. The probability of Sotomayor being seated is near 100% so why do they extend the drama so extensively?

    July 14, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. mb

    Non issue here. A 36 year old law that has been reaffirmed by case law. At least half or more of the SITTING SUPREME COURT JUSTICES have the same viewpoint.

    Non issue.

    July 14, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. Sniffit

    ding ding ding....the GOP will now come out of its corner swinging...

    You know what's too bad tho? Not one of the GOPer fundies who comes into this commentary section to yammer about the bible, etc., will admit to the hypocrisy involved in their previous comments saying that Sotomayor will want to legislate from the bench and won't want to apply the law as written, etc. Guess what guys? ROE IS THE LAW. It would require judicial activism to overturn it...the same kind of judicial activism you're pretending to abhore in order to make hay over Sotomayor's appointment. And you wonder why we just roll our eyes the minute you start speaking...

    July 14, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Minnesotan

    Roe vs. Wade IS a settled law. So why do the conservatives keep trying to obstruct justice, eliminate a woman's freedom, and place governmental control over her body? That just goes against everything they allegedly support.... unless they're a bunch of hypocrites and liars?

    July 14, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. Susan

    i think that was an appropriate answer

    July 14, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. turn Texas blue

    The republicans dont want it to ever be changed either,this is what keeps the anti abortion people voting for the GOP.Im against abortion,but I know it cant be legislated to change.You have to change the heart and thinking of women that get them or want to.

    July 14, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. MJM

    That really makes me sad. If all of you would read the book that this person of Roe vs Wade wrote and how she became a Christian and changed her mind competely on abortion, it might even change your mind also. The US calls it getting rid of a mistake, God calls it murder!

    July 14, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. AntonioSosa

    Sotomayor should be rejected because she is biased, sexist and racist, and what’s worst, she does not seem to have much regard for the U.S. Constitution and the principle of separation of powers.

    Hispanics like me, who care for the U.S. and know the horrors of Marxism, are terrified that someone like Sotomayor will help Obama impose Marxism on us. Obama supports Zelaya, a Chavez clone desperate to enslave Hondurans!

    Fortunately for Hondurans, Zelaya had not yet managed to control their Legislative and Judicial branches of power. Unfortunately for us, Obama practically controls the Legislative branch and, with Sotomayor, Obama may further control the Judicial branch, and thus, the three branches of power! Just like Castro in Cuba and Chavez in Venezuela!

    July 14, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. videodrome

    Agree.
    Abortion may not be to everyone's liking, but it is THE LAW.
    So for all those conservatives screaming about the Constitution and the law, how about practicing what you preach for once??
    If you don't want an abortion, don't get one, plain and simple.
    But respect the laws of this land, and be thankful you live in a society where we can all have our opinions and do as we see fit.
    And spare us all this nonsense about "innocent" fetuses. Many of these fetuses will just grow up to become people of different races, ethnic backgrounds, political as well as personal lifestyle preferences. So their lives are only valuable if they agree 100% with whoever is doing the talking.
    Whatever.

    July 14, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Fair is Fair

    How convenient. Doesn't give a clue as to how you would adjudicate a new case brought before the court, though.

    July 14, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. PFFT

    In other words, she has an opinion and won't share it because it's calling for the death of innocent babies.

    July 14, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. finally

    Roe IS settled. Move on to more important issues that aren't resolved.

    July 14, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Simply put, she's pro-choice.

    July 14, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. history repeats

    all religious nuts that also believe in the death penalty.......please keep quiet

    July 14, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. dominican mama 4 Obama

    "While refusing to offer her personal view of the decision, she noted that the core holding in Roe was reaffirmed in the 1992 ruling Planned Parenthood v. Casey".

    Stay alert Ms. Sotomayor! The only reason they would ask your personal opinion on an established ruling is to bait you, and hook you.

    July 14, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Goddess

    Her personal view does not belong in decision.

    July 14, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. FLP

    Gotta love all these phoney baloney politically correct answers!! All these hearings are a waste of time, this unqualified quota filler will be confirmed by the out of control Democrats!!

    July 14, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Beverly in NC

    AMEN!

    It's about time for the conservative nuts to realize that Roe v Wade is the law of the land, has been for decades, and they should spend their time on preventing teen pregnancy. Or perhaps they could adopt all the unwanted babies they claim to want to save. Their Christian values end when the child is born. They do not care about the poverty, lack of education, and abuse of children already living all around them.

    Roe v Wade was settled a long time ago. Our nation is pro-choice which is in keeping with our national freedoms and rights to make individual choices for our own lives.

    If you nutjobs care so much about babies – teach your children how not to get pregnant and devote your time and energy to the currently suffering hungry and abandoned children stuck in our failing Social Services care.

    Roe V Wade is the LAW – get over it and go help the children in true danger of living lives in poverty, hunger, and without the love and support of a family.

    July 14, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. tedious898

    Without any activism, Judge Sotomayor answered these questions perfectly. Its called settle law people. For the Judge to have said anything different would have meant activism.

    The GOP philosophy is seeing its very implode on a nationally level. This party of prehistoric ideology, exclusivity and racial hatred will soon disappear from political discourse...and not a moment to soon I might add.

    Thank the good Lord our country is moving forward!

    July 14, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. David

    Great answer Judge. Don't let the GOP bait you. You know your stuff and they hate it.

    July 14, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. ariel

    What's convenient is Repubs selectively calling pro-choice 'murder' when they believe in the death penalty and they send tens of thousands off to war at the drop of a hat. Over 4000 Americans have been killed in Iraq alone.

    July 14, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    The Supreme Court voted to uphold slavery once too. Wasn't that 'settled law'.

    July 14, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. A fetus

    Oh great. I'm voting republican in 2010. Have a nive day!

    July 14, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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