William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has this to say:
"I wish I knew more about her. But from what we know, it looks like she'll be at least a wash with Souter, and maybe we'll even see improvement."
Judge Sotomayor's record on abortion-related cases is thin and tangential. She ruled on the right of pro-life protesters to sue on charges of police brutality and on a challenge to the "Mexico City policy," which prevented U.S. government funds from going to aid organizations that counsel for or provide abortions.
Although the decision didn't deal with the fundamental constitutional issue of abortion rights, she said in the Mexico City case that the "Supreme Court has made clear that the government is free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position, and can do so with public funds."
Mr. Donohue was not alone among conservative Catholics in calling for pro-lifers to hold their fire.
"My concern is that the people in Obama's on-deck circle are much worse," said Steve Dillard, an adviser to the 2008 presidential campaign of Mike Huckabee and founder of the site Catholics Against Rudy. He called Judge Sotomayor "the best of the worst."
"Do you really want to win this battle only to get Diane Wood?" said Mr. Dillard, a lawyer and former clerk at the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where Judge Wood, whom he called a brilliant radical, sits.
Beyond abortion, Mr. Donohue said, he saw in Judge Sotomayor's record a history of backing religious liberty claims.
"She said it was wrong to prohibit a menorah on public ground; I like that. She talks about the religious rights of prisoners; I like that too," he said.
Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life Internation (HLI) devoted his entire end of May "Spirit and Life" email newsletter to the nomination, and he wrote:
Just Say No to Judicial Affirmative Action
President Obama thinks he has thrown the pro-life movement a curve ball by nominating a politically-correct relatively unknown minor judge as a candidate for the Supreme Court. Putting the name of Sonia Sotomayor forward for this office is really the equivalent of an affirmative action plan for the highest court of our land, and it is just not what we need for our judicial system. As a Hispanic female judge, she apparently has the credentials suited to Obama's highly politicized view of the Constitution, but Sotomayor is far from the most qualified person for the office. More importantly, she is not unambiguously pro-life.
What is becoming clear in the vetting process of this woman is that Sotomayor has served a decades-long career avoiding the whole issue of baby-killing, and now her advocates want us to believe that she will be a friend to the pro-life movement. Actually, she will never help to overturn our nation's terrible abortion law because she can't. She does not manifest either the personal character or the track record that tells us she will fight for babies. Even if she should be sympathetic to the cause of life - which is not at all clear to anyone who examines her record - she has never displayed that unique brand of moral courage that it will take to re-establish the right to life of the most innocent of God’s children. Now is not the time for compromise in the judiciary. We’ve had that for 36 years. It is the time for pure leadership for life. Sotomayor doesn’t have it, doesn't give it and apparently just doesn’t get it.
Apart from her reverse-discriminatory view that a "Latina female" would be more adequate to judge certain cases than a "white male," relevant to the question of credentials is that 60% of the cases in which she wrote the majority opinion for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals have been reversed by the Supreme Court. This is an abysmal track record for someone being considered for the top judicial forum in the land. Furthermore, her positions are highly emotional, not hard-headed and rational, and have led to a trivializing of the law, not a strengthening of it.
A pretty safe pro-life rule of thumb for all future Supreme Court nominees should be that we require them to have a proven pro-life track record both in their decisions and in practice. Their commitment has to be visible and tangible. Otherwise we have to oppose them in no uncertain terms. Unborn children were the only real casualties of the so-called "safe" Republican nominees like Sandra Day O'Connor and David Souter, and of course there has been little or no movement in the direction of protecting life despite their being put forward by pro-life presidents. There is all the more reason to fear the candidates put forward by a radical extremist pro-abortion President.
We can never forget that we are literally at war, and in wartime, there can be no gray areas of action and no hesitation. We may not be able to stop the nomination of another pro-abort for the Supreme Court, but we cannot pretend that we will settle for anything less than a justice who is committed to overturning Roe and to putting legal walls around the babies once again. For that matter, a good pro-life justice will fight for legal protection for all of us against an increasingly-aggressive culture of death that wants to usurp more and more legal power to endorse its dirty agenda.
We must urge our Senators to stand up and say a forceful NO to this political appointee to the nation's high court - we need a Supreme Court Justice who will fight to rectify three and a half decades of injustice toward innocent children in this country, not a politically-convenient appointee who wants to make history. We elected a history-making President and look what it has led to. You'd think we would have learned.