Judge Sotomayor never thought about the rights of the unborn?

From CNA with my emphases and comments.

Sotomayor says she has ‘never thought about’ rights of unborn, senator reports

Washington D.C., Jun 13, 2009 / 07:22 am (CNA).- Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s views on abortion law and the unborn were topics in several of her meetings with U.S. Senators. One pro-life senator reports that Sotomayor told him she had never thought about the rights of the unborn, while a pro-abortion senator says that she clearly acknowledged to him “the importance of precedent.”  [Ummm… if it is an important precedent, then she has thought about it.  Or am I missing something?  We all acknowledge that people "think" about things in passing.  But that is different from "thinking" about something from your position as a, say, jurist, judge,… specialist.  Are we to believe that this specialist has never thought about the rights of the unborn?  About the rights of what may under the law be a whole class of people?  Perhaps, and I have never thought about the what happens by transsubstantiation.] 

On Tuesday Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) discussed his meeting with Sotomayor.
“We had a good meeting that covered a wide array of issues and Judge Sotomayor was very personable and engaging. However, I didn’t hear anything today that eased my concerns,” he said.

“When I asked if an unborn child has any rights whatsoever, I was surprised that she said she had never thought about it,” Sen. DeMint reported. “This is not just a question about abortion, but about the respect due to human life at all stages, and I hope this is cleared up in her hearings.”  [I suspect there will be a question or two.]

“Those who serve on the highest court in America must have an unwavering commitment to the Constitution and equal justice for all Americans,” he said. [If the unborn are Americans, they must have the protection of law, right?  I wonder: Is there a jurist alive today in the USA who hasn’t thought about whether the unborn have the protection of law?  If so… who would want that sort of out-of-touch person to sally forth from the dark, sound-proofed windowless basement he has been living in for the past 30 years and take a seat on the SCOTUS?]

Sen. DeMint also expressed concern about her views on the Second Amendment, which protects the right to bear arms.

On June 2, Sotomayor had a meeting with Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who supports legalized abortion. After the meeting, Sen. Feinstein said she felt comfortable that Sotomayor supports the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade as a precedent[But Sotomayor has not thought about abortion.  How could she have an opinion on Roe v Wade as a precedent.  Are we to believe that in thinking about Roe v Wade, her powers of disciplined cogitation extended strictly and only to, say, matters of privacy?]

The nominee also met with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on June 3. A supporter of abortion, Wyden told reporters he was “very pleased” that Judge Sotomayor has indicated in the past that she possesses “a great respect for precedent,” Politico says.

He reportedly said he asked specifically about abortion and Roe v. Wade, after which “she acknowledged the importance of precedent… She made that very clear.”



If Judge Sotomayor has never thought about the rights of the unborn, I would like to know from which penumbra she emanated.

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  1. Aaron says:

    In other words, as long as the Court has already decided an issue in the way she agrees with, she’ll hide behind precedent when ruling on that issue, rather than take her own stand. She doesn’t need to think about it; previous courts already have. She’s not pro-abortion; she’s just honoring the holy and infallible precedent of Roe v. Wade!

  2. Paul Haley says:

    If she has never thought about the rights of the unborn, especially in this day and age when the issue seems always before us, one wonders what rare weed she has been smoking or, perish the thought, she doesn’t want to say because she has a secret agenda on the bench. Egads, it boggles the mind.

  3. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    First, after Bork, no supreme court nominee is going to come out and say what they really think about Roe, or the rights of the unborn. Does anyone know what Robert’s, or Alito’s views on the rights of the unborn are?

    Second, I am very glad to see Fr. Z separate himself from the conservative right, and the crazy judicial philosophy of Scalia, and imply that the unborn are Americans, and that a judge could reach this rule without a law stating such. [First, I am not a jurist. I use language in a different way here than would Justice Scalia. Second, since you really don’t know what I think about this, or if I agree with Justice Scalia or not, I think you posted this to provoke me. I wouldn’t do that, right now, if you want to read the blog or comment here.]

  4. Fr. Totton says:

    One wonders whether Sotomayor would support Dred Scott as a precedent.

  5. Kris says:

    “She hasn’t thought about it” probably means she hasn’t had a case before her that she had to decide. This woman is clearly qualified to be on the SCOTUS. All the opposition she’s getting is ridiculous, and purely political. If we can seat Clarence Thomas after his alleged sex scandal (who has been a fairly decent Justice), we can seat Sotomayor whose only offense is being nominated by Obama. If it were Bush, she’d be hailed as proof of his commitment to an integrated court. We have a new administration for the next four years, get over it people.

  6. michigancatholic says:

    Then, she is an idiot and should not be confirmed on the basis that she would not understand the cases put before her. She is no more than a political appointment put forth to appease an ethnic group. This is just one more example of the depths to which this country has fallen.

  7. michigancatholic says:

    Even ardent pro-aborts usually realize that it is a moral issue of some sort. This woman is a joke. She once said that she was a product of affirmative action. I don’t doubt that one bit. Obama is one too.

  8. Jeff Pinyan says:

    “If the unborn are Americans, they must have the protection of law, right?”

    I’m not sure how one can argue for citizenship for someone who is unborn; isn’t citizenship (at least in the US) a birth-right?

    Regardless, the unborn are still human persons (no matter what the stage of development), and as such they are entitled to the same rights as all persons.

  9. michigancatholic says:

    Are you really saying that the laws of this land apply only to those already born with American citizenship by virtue of their birth?

    Conceived in the US of American parents, but not yet born of American parents, used to have an official status. I’m not aware that this has been officially changed re citizenship laws has it? [Perhaps this is an avenue that could be used to contest the status quo?]

    And even if it had, if a citizen of another country were to come here and commit a crime of passion, do they not have to submit to our laws first because of the location of the crime? ie. be arrested and so on?

  10. michigancatholic says:

    What of the human composite that is a pregnant woman? How can she be partially covered by her own citizenship during her pregnancy? What is her status exactly for the period during which she is inseparable from the child without her consent? Think folks.

  11. Holy Mackarel says:

    However sad, it’s actually not surprising. It’s completely foreseeable that a sitting federal judge might have gone through three years of law school, and a career in practice and on the bench, without confronting the question of fetal rights. This is because the abortion debate in American courts has focused entirely on the woman’s interest in having an abortion, the state’s interest in restricting it, and not at all on the unborn child’s interest in avoiding it. This is largely a legacy of the English common law, which held legal rights to attach at birth.

    Of course, the common law developed at a time when we thought there were only seven planets in the solar system.

  12. michigancatholic says:

    Don’t blame common law. For all its old english warts, it never foresaw that a person might kill their own children out of spite or avarice. It established the parentage of those children for the good of the child, the woman and society and that was its original intention.

  13. michigancatholic says:

    Besides, common law was pre-scientific. By this I mean that there is a certain fascination with scientific technicalities that goes along with contemporary obstetric meddling and abortion that wasn’t present during the establishment of common law. Common law contains none of the do-it-yourself my-body-is-a-push-button-gadget mentality that belongs to the medical class that produces and advises abortion to women.

    I say this to highlight that the emphasis on birth in common law was quite natural because it wasn’t separated from life in an artificial way as you see in the contemporary culture.

    [I’m not just talking out of my hat. I say this as a woman who has borne children and lived through the entire medicalization of female normalcy. It’s been a trend since the early 70s, and it came with the abortion movement. I have resisted it strongly all the way. In the year 2007, more than 30% of all the births in the US were cesarian sections, which is utterly and completely ridiculous, but it did produce a lot of revenue. BTW, this is a more than 40% increase since 1996!]

  14. michigancatholic says:

    BTW, in 1965, the incidence of Cesarian section in the American population was 4.5%.

    But, you say, what about safety? There is no evidence that the enormous increase in the rate of cesarian sections has produced better infant mortality rates in the US. In fact, we rank 28th in the world and our standing is currently falling. This is due to the increasing ability to obtain food and basic medical care elsewhere (which is good!) plus a very real tendency on our part (the US) to bungle the 1st year of infancy post-birth (included in the infant mortality stats). Infant mortality rate is much more heavily dependent on infant safety, nutrition and general health care than it is on mode of birth. There is no McHealth way to insure that people behave with their infants post-birth–that takes work and mom has to be around.

  15. Patrick says:

    Sotomayer is an activist judge and I’m sure will be a reliable pro-choice vote. That being said, her answers here are the same as Roberts and Alito. The republicans devised a very wise strategy of having justices commenting that there is an established law and that further comment would be inappropriate since that matter may come before the court. It seems she is just following a similar path here.

  16. michigancatholic says:

    So the same thing has been going on medically as legally, you see. I blame the medical industry and the attitudes they have inculcated in the general population every bit as much as the political establishment for abortion.

  17. Matt Q says:

    Scary, folks. Very scary. It seems to me this frump is just one more sleeper the Left-wing child-haters are going to put in the High Court. When David Souter was nominated by the first George Bush, he was vetted as a clear-thinking, by-the-book jurist, someone whom they all thought could be relied on to counter the liberals already on the Bench. HA. He turned to be one of them.

    As of now, the good guys still outnumber the bad, but with Ruth Bader Ginsberg struggling with cancer, the Obama regime is holding all the cards. Is anyone that dense, that foolish to think Obama would ever vet any candidate who didn’t support his ideologies and sympathies for his horrid new world?

  18. Steve says:

    “One pro-life senator reports that Sotomayor told him she had never thought about the rights of the unborn, while a pro-abortion senator says that she clearly acknowledged to him “the importance of precedent.”

    ‘The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God’s creation, says this: “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

    Revelation 3: 14-16

  19. Disgusted in DC says:

    Well…I see her answer to Sen. DeMint as a dodge, much like Clarence Thomas’ too-clever-by-half answer that he never “debated” the merits of Roe v. Wade. Not that I think either answer, in this environment, is at all questionable or reprehensible, at least not any more than Athanasius’ “He is very close to you.”

    I share Bill Donohue’s view that this is not the time nor the nominee for a big fight over a Supreme Court nominee. I would prefer a nominee whose views on Roe v. Wade, etc. are opaque than one that we know for a fact is pro-abort all the way. Whether unintentionally or not, I think Obama has done us a favor by nominating her as opposed to some others. But, of course, a lot of conservative activists and direct mail businessmen have mortgages to pay, mouths to feed, so they are going to use this as an opportunity to raise lots of cash and make lots of impotent noise. Not this time, I hope. Maybe later.

  20. Jeff Pinyan says:

    To michigan catholic (from 13 June 2009 @ 10:09 am)

    “Are you really saying that the laws of this land apply only to those already born with American citizenship by virtue of their birth?”

    I don’t know what the laws of the United States say about WHO is a citizen. I would be quite surprised if they extended citizenship to the unborn, to be honest. From what I’ve read in this Wikipedia article about citizenship, a person is a citizen upon birth, not conception.

    “Conceived in the US of American parents, but not yet born of American parents, used to have an official status.”

    Any evidence of that, like a Court ruling or something?

    “if a citizen of another country were to come here and commit a crime of passion, do they not have to submit to our laws first because of the location of the crime?”

    A citizen of another country has to submit to our laws even if they’re not a criminal, so submission to the law is not restricted to citizens.

  21. Larry says:

    I am not encouraged by the judge’s history. Clearly she is qualified to be a judge from an objective list of qualifications. We do not as a rule base qualifications on a person’s decisions but rather on their ability to use the law as it is written. While she has a reputation as an “activist” and souunds like one as well that does not mean that she cannot be an actiivist on matters of life. Remeber that precedent is on the side of abortion. It is going to take some degree of activism to get beyond that. IN fact on two occasions she has sided with the more pro-life side of a question. That she has “never” considered the rights of an unborn child is cause for hope. It presents us with a clear opportunity for argument before her where she will indeed have to consider those rights. At this point, before any hearings have been held I am inclined to favor her appointment. At least she is not known as a flaming advocate for abortion in all cases as are many of Prseident Obama’s appointees. I may change my mind during the confirmation process, but I will pray that a “sleeper” can get by. There is an old phrase lawyers like to use to discribe their arguments in a case. Use any stick in the bag. I hope (and PRAY) she may be the club we need to get the job done!

  22. Chironomo says:

    This woman is clearly qualified to be on the SCOTUS.


    She may be qualified, however I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it is CLEAR that she is. There are many questions about her qualifications, and it is not merely a matter of being nominated by Obama. Thomas’s alleged “sex scandal”, while a serious personal flaw, doesn’t have the impact on ones judicial bearing in quite the same way as what is being claimed concerning Ms. Sotomeyer such as the race of a judge having bearing on a decision, and “not having thought about” what is possibly the most contended and prominent legal question of our time. If it is true in a literal sense that she has never thought about whether the unborn have rights…. I would, as would others, have some serious doubts about her qualifications. What is worse is that she obviously HAS thought about it, and so is dodging the question. She could be on either side of the question, pro-choice or pro-life, but she won’t let us know until the answer to that question will have legal consequences. That should be troubling to anybody regardless of what side of the aisle you’re on…that would mean she is lying for political expediency.

  23. Sieber says:

    This is a woman who revels in the fact that her entire academic and professional career is the result of affirmative action. Once again she will be promoted on the same basis. We should not be surprised that she found no need to give thought to the inheritance rights of the unborn or the basis for the charge of double homicide when a pregnant woman is killed.

  24. PS says:

    To try and push beyond the histrionics here for a second. I think Kris is right: Sotomayor is speaking in her professional capacity; I would think that in conversations with Senators who will be busy deciding whether or not to confirm her, it would be unwise to speak in any other capacity. As I understand it, in her current position, it would indeed be very likely for her to have to “deal with” the notion that the unborn may or may not have legal rights (I think they do, obviously).

    She isn’t really “hiding behind precedent” any more than Roberts did. It would be beyond foolish to suggest that she present an unequivocal statement on the rights of the unborn.

  25. If Sotomayor says under oath that she has never thought about the rights of the unborn, she will have committed perjury.

    Clarence Thomas made a similar claim under oath during his confirmation hearings. I believe he said that he had never discussed the issue of abortion rights with anyone. IN HIS LIFE. At that point, I concluded that he was a liar. I also decided that Anita Hill was probably telling the truth.

    Why can’t these people say, “Yes, I have thought about it. I have discussed it. However, I will not say anything further, because I was not thinking about or discussing the issue as a judge in an actual case.”

  26. Bill in Texas says:

    Her response is standard lawyer talk. The instant she says she has had thoughts about it, her thoughts and opinions become open to discovery.

    The law has nothing to do with truth, and precious little to do with justice.

    If you asked her point-blank (no pun intended) about her thoughts concerning the Second Amendment, she could well give you the same answer. It’s only in the instances where she (or any judge) has made a ruling on something that the Senators can ask substantive questions and get substantive answers.

    Thinking that a president (either party) would nominate a judge for a vacancy on the Supreme Court if that judge would be even slightly likely to make rulings that would result in the party platform underpinnings being ruled unconstitutional, is just wishful thinking.

    Get over it. Any judge nominated by this president is going to be predisposed to points of view opposite to many (not all — some people need to get over that kind of thinking, too) of the teachings of the Church (or for that matter, of any religion other than secularism). Actually, that could well be true of judges nominated by a Republican president, a Libertarian president, etc. etc.

    The most we can hope for is a judge who does actually make decisions and rulings on the basis of the law and the facts, within and compatible with the Constitution of the United States. What we must pray for is judges whose hearts are not hardened, and that the Holy Spirit will give them the gift of Fear of the Lord. And we need to pray for good cases and for smart lawyers, who also have Fear of the Lord, to present them.

  27. Daniel Hill says:

    I would find it somewhat amusing, if the whole situation wasn’t so serious, that anyone could even speculate that an appointee of Obama would be even slightly in favour of the rights of the unborn.

    Abortion is not simply a small part of the left agenda, it is one of it’s fulcrums, and Obama would always ensure that who he proposes is in line with this. It is obviously part of his program, just like it seems more and more that FOCA was a distraction.

    Obama is no fool, we shouldn’t be either. Sotomayor might be, I doubt it, but she definitely is acting that way with these comments.

    Nevertheless, her comments not necessarily unique. The vast majority of law schools now either fail to mention the idea that the unborn have rights, or simple gloss over in the negative. Most law students, growing up in an education from a school level wich promotes aborion, would never even contemplate it as an issue of contention.

    That is the reality that most westeners live in, and it is diabolical to behold.

  28. Rancher says:

    Logic tells me several things. #1 Given her statements re race and activism and her memberships in certain organizations that does not bode well for her being much other than pro-choice #2. That she hasn’t thought about it means she is either incredibly shallow in her thinking or is attempting to hide something. #3. And, most important, given the position on abortion of the person nominating her and his well known inability to tolerate differing points of view it is highly unlikely that he would have nominated her unless he was convinced that she is pro-choice.

    In total, lots of reasons to be unhappy with this nomination though her confirmation is a done deal.

  29. m says:

    To say that she hasn’t considered the rights of the unborn is not necessarily to say that she has never considered the constitutionality of abortion. Read the Supreme Court’s decisions on the matter – the framework of the law as it exists weighs the rights of the individual woman who wishes to obtain an abortion against the the interest of the state (i.e. other people) in her bringing the pregnancy to term. The unborn baby is not one of the parties in the debate.

  30. Bill in Texas says:

    Let me try saying this another way:

    “One pro-life senator reports that Sotomayor told him she had never thought about the rights of the unborn, while a pro-abortion senator says that she clearly acknowledged to him ‘the importance of precedent.’ ”

    Saying she has never thought about the rights of the unborn may mean she has never made a ruling on them. If asked to make a ruling, she will want to see some precedent. The pro-life attorney had better be able to come up with a stronger precedent for the unborn having rights than what the pro-choice attorney comes up with.

    For the rest, as I said before, it’s just legal positioning. It’s the age-old dodge of not exactly lying (“it depends on what you mean by ‘thinking.'”) and not being cooperative either. She can’t say that she has had thoughts about the rights of the unborn, because as soon as she does, the pro-Life senators are going to be all over her like a duck on a June bug demanding to know what those thoughts were. No matter what you may think of her qualifications, she isn’t stupid, and she won’t fall into that trap.

  31. Hidden One says:

    Do any of us think that she’s pro-life? I don’t think so.

    Would it be better for us to spend our time praying for her conversion than to continue this conjecture and needless commentary on her faults, perceived or actual?

  32. Kris says:

    One thing is quite clear on the majority of responses here: There is a decidedly Catholic Fundamentalist approach to the issue. For anyone to argue far fetched issues of racism against Sotomayor indicates a population of those who do whatever Rush tells them and do not look any further. Psst… She’s ruled in favor in cases regarding white supremacist behavior! Our Catholic Faith should not be “Republican” or “Democrat” but “ROME”! PLEASE NOTE: NEITHER PARTY follows Catholic Doctrine to it’s fullest. Which covers more?

  33. Hans says:

    michigancatholic, I’m pretty sure that Jeff Pinyan is referring to section one of the 14th Amendment, which begins:
    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.

    So it’s not clear, or at least constitutionally required, that the unborn be citizens. On the other hand, it is clear that they are distinct persons, and that same section goes on to say:
    No state shall […] deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    So conversely it is quite clear that any ruling not respecting the individual rights of the unborn as persons is fundamentally flawed.

    Now, I have a certain confusion about people who are upset that some others are upset by one problem or another that they can’t solve for the time being, so they tell that person to get over it. What I confused about is why they can’t follow their own advice: Get over it.

    But maybe that’s just me.

  34. Hans says:

    One pro-life senator reports that Sotomayor told him she had never thought about the rights of the unborn, while a pro-abortion senator says that she clearly acknowledged to him ‘the importance of precedent.’

    Could some senator please ask her what she thinks about the importance of the Constitution and what it says, rather than what others have said about it?

  35. Ed the Roman says:

    A supreme court nominee who has given no thought to the rights of the unborn is a nominee to be Chief of Naval Operations who has not thought about submarines.

  36. Charles R. Williams says:

    Sotomayor is technically qualified for SCOTUS but she is clearly a mediocre candidate chosen to humor a target constituency. There is precedent for overturning precedents. So when does she believe a precedent can or should be overturned?

    The votes will not be there to filibuster the nomination but the opposition should conduct a model review of her qualifications and the critical issues her past public statements and decisions raise. The Republicans gave Breyer and Ginsburg a free pass. They should not treat Sotomayor’s nomination in this way nor should they follow the reprehensible “precedents” the Democrats have set in the Bork and Thomas nominations.

    Not much is at stake in this nomination. I expect she will be a warm body on the “liberal” wing of the court just as Souter turned out to be.

  37. The 60% reversal rate, her manifest clumsiness as a writer, and her statement to the effect that the question of the rights of the unborn has never captured her attention, all tend to suggest to me that she is not very smart.

    Not very smart people tend to be swayed by one or a combination of two things: who is nicest to them; the opinion of the last person with whom they discussed a given matter.

    I can imagine JJ Ginsburg and Scalia jockeying for the second slot outside her door: “After you, Justice Ginsburg…” “Oh, please, Nino, enough with your pseudo-chivalric silliness…” “But I insist, Ruth, really – and I stand on neither ceremony nor on principle – unless it be of fairness, for if you recall, you talked to her last the last time…” etc., etc., etc.

    Plus, she is Catholic, and Catholics have a way of returning to the practice of their faith – and when that happens, their thinking improves.

    I am not terribly impressed with Judge Sotomayor, but a lot of folks around here are making it sound like it is time to head for the hills.

    Alarmism is dangerous, because it is indistinguishable from crying, “Wolf!”

    Someday, there is going to be a wolf.


  38. Matt Q says:

    Chris Altieri wrote:

    “I am not terribly impressed with Judge Sotomayor, but a lot of folks around here are making it sound like it is time to head for the hills.

    Alarmism is dangerous, because it is indistinguishable from crying, “Wolf!”

    Someday, there is going to be a wolf.”


    Chris, while it may be your perception people are crying wolf, take into consideration the comments people have made here are based on informed opinions. Both sides of the debate are scrutinizing Sotomayor’s decisions which show her mindset and attitude in the application of the law. Did you know the majority of her decisions have been overturned or reversed on appeal? In fact, one of her decisions is on appeal at the Supreme Court right now. ( She would have to recuse herself if she’s on the Bench by the time the appeal is heard. )

    This is telling of her judicial skills and comprehension of the law, whether she really is applying the law or her own sentiments. Remember, she’s the one who said a Hispanic woman can render a better decision “because of the life she’s lived” than a White man can. This is racist through and through. This is not a one-time comment. She’s stated this over and over at various talks and writings with the various organizations she’s belonged to. If she is given a pass on that comment, and then any White person has the right to say the same thing.

    BTW, what does her Catholicism have to do with informed thinking? There are many staunch pro-abort Catholics. Obviously their Catholicism isn’t of any help.

    Should this person make it to the Supreme Court, there is no one else in the world she’s accountable to. The majority of the people on this blog are pretty clear-thinking, so if you get the perception it’s time to run for the hills, at least consider doing so lest you find yourself confronting the wolf by yourself.

  39. Dear Matt Q,

    I cordially invite you to revisit the very first item in the list with which I open my address of the issue.

    Then, revisit what follows my statement of fact regarding her Catholicism.



  40. ssoldie says:

    I would not believe her, trust her, or affirm her.

  41. Kim Poletto says:

    I wonder if she would have great repect for the precedent set by the Dred Scott decision which held that in certain areas of the US one could own African Americans; or the precedent set in the 1930’s that deprived Jews of their property and eventually sent them to the gas chambers; or the precedent set by Stalin and Mao that cost millions of lives.

  42. “never thought about it?”, Father your article has inspired me! We’re ‘channeling’ Evelyn Waugh’s Father Mowbray on his thoughts about the Judge over at K. C. blog…….

    K. C.

  43. Bill in Texas says:

    OK, so now the New York Times reports on four amicus curiae briefs that Sotomayor filed with the Supreme Court, asking that Roe v. Wade not be overturned. And it also outlines her involvement in pro-abortion organizations.

    This means that the door is open to questions about her thoughts regarding whether unborn children are legally persons and what rights, if any, they have. Pretty hard to finesse that which is on the record in black and white.

    I stand corrected, given the new information. Not that I expected Sotomayor to turn out to be secretly pro-life. And not that I don’t expect her to be confirmed anyway, barring some stunning revelation of legal improbity in her past. (The Senate majority won’t consider that support for abortion is, by definition, a matter of ethical and moral improbity.)

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