Sotomayor: Roe v. Wade is "settled law"

The Supreme Court nominee cautiously handles the issue of abortion


Tracy Clark-Flory
July 14, 2009 8:15PM (UTC)

Sonia Sotomayor affirmed during Tuesday's Senate hearing that Roe v. Wade is "settled law" -- but that doesn't settle nervous speculation about the Supreme Court nominee's stance on abortion. "Settled law" is the buzz-phrase often used by Roe supporters who view that ruling as a "super-precedent that has survived long enough without major challenge that it shouldn't be reconsidered," according to the Associated Press. That would seem a pretty strong and encouraging endorsement of Roe. However, as MSNBC points out, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, a George W. Bush nominee, also said that Roe was "settled law" during his 2005 confirmation -- only, he went on to add that the court was not obligated to uphold it. 

This small reassurance from Sotomayor might not satisfy pro-choicers, but I suspect it's all we're going to get.

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Tracy Clark-Flory

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