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Sotomayor: Pro-choice groups worried?

The New York Times front-pages that "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. 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."

Video: TODAY's Matt Lauer talks to David Gregory, moderator of "Meet the Press," about the confirmation process lying ahead for President Obama's first Supreme Court pick, Sonia Sotomayor, and what her views may be on abortion rights.

"Because Judge Sotomayor is the choice of a president who supports abortion rights at a time when Democrats hold a substantial majority in the Senate, both sides in the debate have tended to assume she could be counted on to preserve the Roe decision… Presidents have miscalculated in their assumptions about the abortion views of Supreme Court nominees before. When the first President Bush nominated David H. Souter in 1990 to fill the seat that Judge Sotomayor would assume if confirmed, Mr. Souter was known as a 'stealth nominee' with no paper trail on abortion." 

The Washington Post also chimes in: "Several interest groups called on the Senate to try to discern Sotomayor's views on a woman's right to have an abortion vs. the government's right to restrict the procedure. 'I don't know what her position is on the core constitutional protections of Roe v. Wade,' said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, adding: 'I will be nervous if the Senate doesn't get answers to the question.'"  

Meanwhile, Sotomayor makes the cover of the latest issue of Time magazine, with the headline: "Latina Justice: Will Sonia Sotomayor Change the Court?"

Legendary New York prosecutor Robert Morgenthau jumps to Sotomayor's defense in a New York Daily News op-ed, which the White House is circulating. The headline: "Those labeling Sonia Sotomayor a radical don't know her at all." He writes, "I have known Judge Sotomayor for decades, and I know how absurd these charges are. I doubt that anyone will be fooled by them, but let me state for the record my views on her nomination." More from Morgenthau: "Assistant District Attorney Sotomayor was no 'liberal.' Rather, she was a tough and effective prosecutor. Young prosecutors are sometimes picked on by judges and defense attorneys, but no one successfully pushed this ADA around. Within a short time she had come to the attention of trial division executives as someone who was a step ahead of her colleagues, one of the brightest, an immediate standout who was marked for rapid advancement."

The New York Times retraces the selection process Obama used to pick Sotomayor. "From the beginning, Mr. Obama had been focused on Judge Sotomayor… Over the course of the last four weeks, Mr. Obama nursed doubts about Judge Sotomayor and entertained alternatives, aides said. He called around, asking allies about her reputation for brusqueness. At times, he grew increasingly enamored of other candidates, particularly Judge Diane P. Wood, whom he knew from Chicago. But by the time Judge Sotomayor left the White House last Thursday after what Mr. Obama told aides was a 'dense discussion' of constitutional law, he was pretty much sold."

The Washington Post looks at Sotomayor's 1997 confirmation hearing. "She survived the hearing with a combination of assured self-defense and well-placed ingratiation, although she also avoided one line of questioning by saying she could not recall the case." 

"When Sotomayor visits Capitol Hill on June 1, she will be escorted by Sen. Chuck Schumer, her designated shepherd -- a role he'll play throughout the confirmation process." 
 
"White House officials have assembled a squad of distinguished legal experts to rebut charges that Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's Supreme Court pick, is an intellectual lightweight who puts her political views ahead of the law," The Hill writes.