By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
With no clear evidence for a pro-abortion-rights position in her judicial decisions, antiabortion groups' case against Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor can be summed up in eight words: the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Sotomayor sat on PRLDEF's board from 1980 to 1992, a stretch during which the antiabortion group Americans United for Life (AUL) says the legal advocacy group "filed at least six briefs in prominent abortion court cases." AUL says that one of the briefs argues that abortion is a "fundamental right."
"The PRLDEF brief, which Judge Sotomayor has never disavowed, indicates that Judge Sotomayor's views go much farther than Justice [David] Souter—and in fact shares the Blackmun, Brennan, and Marshall view of the constitutionality of abortion rights," reads a new set of AUL talking points.
The AUL analysis cites a recent New York Times story reporting that Sotomayor and the rest of PRLDEF's board "monitored all litigation undertaken by the fund's lawyers, and a number of those lawyers said Ms. Sotomayor was an involved and ardent supporter of their various legal efforts."
Watch for questions about Sotomayor's involvement with PRLDEF's briefs in abortion cases to play a big role in her confirmation hearings next month, as Republican senators try to suss out her views on Roe v. Wade. In the meanwhile, her involvement in the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund very likely provides a window into her general views on abortion. But it's far from definitive evidence of a specific position.