Judge Sotomayor, Women and the Supreme Court of the United States

It is very exciting to see another woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States! My only concern is that Judge Sonia Sotomayor be a woman who thinks the way a majority of American women do.

Most American women, whatever our racial identity, don’t think we have a better sense of justice than white males. Most American women respect that most judges and justices, regardless of race or gender, have generally good jurisprudential notions by the mere fact that he or she is a judge.

It may be simply that Judge Sotomayor is a product of an education saturated with critical race theory. Critical race theory (CRT) or critical legal studies (CLS) emphasizes the socially constructed and discursive nature of racism, racial and gender subordination, and racial and gender discrimination. CLS requires racial equality with recompense, and reproductive freedom at all costs. It holds that judicial conclusions ought to be the result of analyzing gender and racial inequity as socially constructed ills, rather than the interpretation of legislation put forth by democratically elected officials.

Most women do not see race or gender as socially constructed, but as part of the grand design of life in all its diversity and glory. Many women see racial difference as beautiful, and gender and the reproductive capacity as a miracle, even a gift from God.

In fact, most American women also believe that abortion is not good for women (or children, or men). Polling data consistently show that 60-70% of American women support abortion only in limited circumstances and early in pregnancy. Only 7% of American women think abortion should be legal at any time of pregnancy for any reason.
A poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted March 31-April 21, 2009, found that only 18% thought abortion should be legal in “all cases” but didn’t probe the stage of pregnancy. Last week another poll probed further. Commissioned by Americans United for Life (AUL), it found that a mere 7% of Americans think abortion should be allowed at any time of pregnancy for any reason. Indeed, there has been a five-point drop in the percentage of Americans supporting abortion “at any time, for any reason” in the past three years (from 12% to 7%).

What makes matters more disconcerting in this newest Supreme Court appointment is that in its abortion cases the Supreme Court has sided with the 7% who favor legal abortion at any time of pregnancy for any reason. In thirty-six years of abortion decisions the Supreme Court of the United States has generally come down on the side of the 7%, protecting abortion at any time for any reason, rather than protecting women and children. That conflict between public opinion and the Supreme Court’s nationwide policy is the key reason why abortion is uniquely controversial – and why Judge Sotomayor may not be the best person (or woman) for the job.

Judge Sotomayor’s legal opinions and public statements indicate that she may indeed be a serious legal positivist, making the law rather than interpreting it. They also indicate she may be a dangerous judicial activist on the issue of abortion specifically. My greatest fear is that the President wants the people he has appointed to read the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) into the Constitution by judicial interpretation. I have written previously about the dangers of FOCA before (viewed here). FOCA has never been brought for a vote to the Congress or to the American people precisely because it is radical abortion legislation, and does not in any way represent the ideas of Americans on abortion.

American women think for themselves about the safety of the abortion procedure for women. Fortunately, many Americans, particularly women, have taken the initiative to think for themselves and at a rate of 60-70% have arrived at the understanding that abortion gravely harms women, as well as children.

My excitement of seeing another woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States is tempered by my fear that Judge Sonia Sotomayor may not be wise in her judgments. On the other hand, it would indeed be a great joy to see a woman appointed to the Court who possesses jurisprudential wisdom, and understands that abortion harms women, and children.

[To learn more about what pro-life Americans can do in the face of a pro-abortion three part government, read the new book by Americans United for Life Senior Counsel Clarke D. Forsythe Politics for the Greatest Good, now out by InterVarsity Press,* a fabulous read for which the Regent Law Review will publish my review of in their fall issue.]

Click here to read The New York Times Article, "Debate on Whether Femail Judges Decide Differently Arises Anew."

* Clarke D. Forsythe is Senior Counsel with Americans United for Life (AUL). His book, Politics for the Greatest Good: The Case for Prudence in the Public Square, was just published by InterVarsity Press (IVP).


  1. You supported Thomas M. Diggs and Jefferey Brauch based on their racial discrimination. I don't think your opinion might not be helpful to confirm Judge Stomayor's nomination. As an Asian descent, I am not worrying about homosexual, abortion, and divorce. These things are American cuture already, so no one can eliminate on US soil. Where homosexual came from? It is from close handshake, hugging, and kissing. Most of other parts of the world, brother and sister, father,and mother might sleep together but they rarely have hugging, kissing. But in US, if you do like that you touch each other immediately and become gay or sexually pervert. It is sad and ashame. America is morally decayed already and no one can help. Even in the Church we might be able to see meant that this is American CULTURE came to us by blood.

  2. Your ideology came from Rush Limbaugh who is a redneck and a Republican leader. You must know that this country is a melting pot country and no one owns it. Only Native Americans (Red Indians) owns this country. Every one of us immigrants, even Pat Robertson is an immigrant. Every one paid tax to our country, we own our part. If you are a racist, and then you don't belong to this country. Please watch what a Nazi Leader Rush Limbaugh said.

  3. Did you see a Latino, well qualified, and who digested all legal fields becomes a Supreme Court Judge. Stop fighting based on race, color, and national origin. I visited the forum of Board of Visitors for Regent University School of Law. All of them are white, I don't even see any Asian, Latino, Black, Spanish, and minority. This could mean something. How can the School will change the world by Christian leadership? Do we have any minority Christian Leader who might be able to change the world as a good Christian? Judge Sotomayor might be right:
    " A Latino woman Judge might make a better decision than a white male Judge." All minority are not inferior to White Supremacist. If Regent University School is a conservative Christian University, and they should comply with ten commandments in the Old Testament. They missed three of them; namely:
    * Thou shall not steal'
    * Thou shall not kill, and
    * Thous shall not bear a false witness against thy neighbor.