The Campaign Spot

Changes From the Previous Decision Matter, Except When They Don’t

Over at Americans United for Life, Dawn Eden is liveblogging the hearings and observes a curious contradiction in Sotomayor’s testimony today. The judge declined to specifically address a query from Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) on whether advances in technology — such as the fact that the life of a child born at 21 weeks may now be saved — should be taken into account when evaluating Roe v. Wade.

Asked whether technology should have an impact, Sotomayor replied, “I can’t answer that in the abstract.”

But later in the day, in response to an antitrust question from Sen. Ted Kaufman (D., Del.), she asked, “Has there been a change in society that shows that the factual findings” of the previous ruling are wrong? Then she added that all relevant changes play a factor in the decision.

So changes in technology and society are important, and ought to be taken into account, except when they shouldn’t.

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