A Liberal Backlash to Obama’s Pick? Huh?

By Tom Johnson

May 28, 2009 10:03am

There is discussion in the morning papers of a liberal backlash to Obama’s pick for the high court — Sonia Sotomayor.  Yes, you read correctly, concern among some liberal circles over her position on a (the?) core issue — abortion rights.  One question — is this a smokescreen meant to blunt the fears of the right?

ABC’s Rick Klein summed up it in this morning’s "Note":

Some abortion rights advocates are quietly expressing unease that Judge Sotomayor may not be a reliable vote to uphold Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision," Charlie Savage writes in The New York Times. "In a letter, Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, urged supporters to press senators to demand that Judge Sotomayor reveal her views on privacy rights before any confirmation vote."

"Some liberal legal groups are raising questions about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, citing her relatively moderate judicial record and her skimpy paper trail on crucial issues like abortion, gay marriage and the death penalty," Politico’s Lisa Lerer reports.

She is "the most conservative choice that President Obama could have made," E.J. Dionne Jr. writes in his Washington Post column. "Liberals should not take the bait of the right-wingers by allowing the debate over Sotomayor to be premised on the idea that she is a bold ideological choice. She’s not. But if conservatives succeed in painting this moderate as a radical, they will skew future arguments over the court."

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