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. Aunt Bea and Opie

    You mean we cant have a Theocracy like the taliban want to have,poor little republicans.

    July 14, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. About that

    It is settled law....and she means it....just like she meant what she said about using life experiences and empathy to make a better decision – that is until questioned today in which case she said that you decide cases based on the law and not empathy.

    She says one thing in the Senate hearing and another outside. So my question is: Is it really settled law in her mind? Because her life experiences include the Catholic teachings on abortion............

    July 14, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. AlwaysThinking

    When a judge sides with the far right and goes against legal precedence, they call it being "constitutional". When a judge upholds precedence (such as in the case of Roe v Wade), the far right calls it "judicial activism".

    It's obvious that the far right does not respect the rule of law, nor does it understand the fundamental intention of our Constitution as a living document, capable of being amended and interpreted.

    July 14, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Fla.

    The legal precedent has been in place for over three decades now. Can we please move beyond this divisive issue to more pressing matters?

    And can so-called "conservatives" stay out of the private lives of others, where their government has no business?

    Beyond established law, we should concentrate on more education & contraception to help minimize unplanned pregnancies–a more unifying approach.

    July 14, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. Bill

    Actually i love abortion, the more the better one less person in society to give a house, food and etc. to the leaches who rely on big brother.

    July 14, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Melissa

    Oh the Republicans aren't going to like that.

    July 14, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. Richard McArthur

    You pro abort people amaze me ... Go back to 3rd grade civics class... the supreme court does NOT make law... Roe v Wade is NOT LAW... Only the congress makes laws with the consent of the President... ROE v WADE is an imperial edict which overturned the will of the people... It is called Anarchy... Amazing you pro death nuts support a decision based upon a lie (Roe.. aka.. Norma McCorvey said her whole story was a lie....)

    She is a pro-murder nut.... God help us...

    July 14, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Josh in TN

    Since she is standing on the Law why do repukes want to ignore the law and over turn Roe V Wade? She's got my vote. Wht are all of these repukes comming after her for her comments and not her rulings? Repukes make the most racist comments ever and they are still fake holy.

    July 14, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. Tired in SC

    So that tells me she agrees with the horrendous act of killing unborn babies. God will punish America and maybe doing that right now by allowing such people in congress, the senate and the WH.

    July 14, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. AlwaysThinking

    The First Amendment of the Constitution explicitly states that the government shall establish no religion. (Look it up, if you don't believe me.)

    Roe v Wade is a privacy issue; religious beliefs do not and should not enter into it.

    If a judge imposes his or her religious views while making a ruling, then we no longer have our system of law – we have religious law, along the lines of Sharia Law.

    Now, is that what all you right-wingers want? Because if it is, then you need to move to another country, one that is not ruled by our Constitution, but one ruled by a religious book.

    Don't let the door hit you on your way out ...

    July 14, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    This country is divided by political philosophy that is slowly diverging to the point of prevent co-existence. Sotomayor's opinions on what is and is not in the Constitution show a clear trend towards considering the world's opinion above and beyond the written words in a document that is intended to provide rule of law for this country. If you don't like those words, use the process built into the document to ammend it and stop using judicial activism against the majority to accomplish your goals. If we want a stronger central government, then "We the People" can change that. Tyranny by the minority is still tyranny.

    July 14, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Kevin B

    The nominee is running circles around the opposition senators, all of thier fear mongerting and false outrage over statements they puposely took out of context to feed to thier feeble minded and narrow minded constituents is being thown back in thier faces.

    The GOP is just pathetic and everyone knows it.

    July 14, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. Jeter, MI

    I think Sonia Sotomayor is doing a fabulous job, against the Party of No.

    Make no mistake about it, Linsey Graham and the others are doing their level best to fight for all white men. Unfortunately as far as t hey are concerned, everyone else is on their own.

    Thank goodness we have a president who understands that America is comprised of more people than white men.

    July 14, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Fla.

    Antonio,

    iQue?! Please do your research before you post right wing talking points/propaganda.

    Judge Sotomayor has MUCH regard for the US Constitution. In fact, she ruled 98.2% of the time with the majority involving constitutional cases.

    July 14, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Don

    Interesting that she thinks it as being settled. It will never be settled when babies are being killed. Remember judge that is a human life and if you don't want the child I know there are those out there that would love to have a child.

    July 14, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. Kevin B

    The nominee is running circles around the opposition senators, all of thier fear mongering and false outrage over statements they puposely took out of context to feed to thier feeble minded and narrow minded constituents is being thown back in thier faces.

    The GOP is just pathetic and everyone knows it.

    July 14, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. KirksNoseHair

    Justice Roberts answered the same exact question the same exact way during his hearings, so I think all of you right-wingers need to just calm down and take a deep breath. Roe is settled law and has been for decades.

    July 14, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Terri

    Very appropiate response. Guess it's only activism when the ruling goes against your stance on an issue.

    July 14, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. New Yorker

    The answer to "Minnesotan"s" question is simple: to protect the life of the unborn baby. i just don't understand why it's so hard for abortion rights advocates to get it.

    Roe vs. Wade is not "settled" any more than the law which preceded it 37 years ago when abortion was illegal. Hopefully, there will always be people who will speak out for the right of a baby to live in the body of the woman who conceived it.

    I noticed there are still some bloggers who don't know the difference between the death penalty for a criminal and that of the innocent.

    July 14, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Chrissy, TX

    What about the unborn child's life. It ceases to amaze me how women spin on how this is my body, my life is in danger, I can do whatever I want, etc....but yet studies have shown that the majority of abortions are not life threatening to the woman. These women have them because they don't want the baby. If that's the case then take precautions, be RESPONSIBLE! And for whatever reason that precaution doesn't work, give it up for adoption!

    July 14, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. E. Elliot

    FLP – unqualified?? Have you been listening? She is likely the best qualified justice selection in decades. Who do you think was qualified, Clarence Thomas? Or are you reading from a GOP notes sheet? Get serious if you are gojng to make posts.

    July 14, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Here it comes......PALIN !!

    It's funny ( well no it really isn't ) how you libs scream about the Goverments control over a womans body but have no problem with the Governments control over EVERY other aspect of our lives !

    July 14, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Tom

    All recent democratic nominees have said the same thing as sotomayor. even roberts in his DC nomination said that roe is "settled law".

    July 14, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    @ Rod

    You do more damage than good to your position with #4. Learn to leave well enough alone. The reason Sotomayor was wrong is because "disparate impact" without something more is not automatically evidence of discrimination, purposeful or not. Had the city of New Haven developed a better case showing that they (a) recognized the "disparate impact" and then (b) investigated whether it was simply the result of the test or actually had something to do with the test being discriminatory, then they'd have done much better. They only did "A," and claimed fear of lawsuits, so they messed up.

    July 14, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  25. Democrat's Motto

    Listen to all you libs talking so smuggly about Roe vs. Wade being the law but when are you going to quit whining about prop 8 in California? THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    July 14, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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