The Campaign Spot

Coburn and Sotomayor on Guns and Abortion, Round Two

Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) tries his hardest to pin Sotomayor down on whether or not she sees the right to bear arms as a “fundamental right” – which would presumably make it harder for states to restrict it.

“I understand the importance of the right as defined in Heller that was all I can say is that I keep an open mind on the incorporation clause,” she concludes.

She says Roe defined “a woman’s right to obtain an abortion without government regulation in certain situations, in others, there would be permissable regulation.”

Coburn: Did any of the laws in the states survive Roe?

Sotomayor: I don’t know that I could answer that.

Coburn: They didn’t. Was there any limit, and if so, what are those limits, according to Roe?

Sotomayor: I don’t actually remember the court addressing that, because my studies were on the undue burden test in Casey. My studies have been most focused on the Casey standard, which changed the Roe standard.

UPDATE: Coburn: “I believe your speeches reflect your passions . . . I really see a dissonance in what you said outside your jurisprudence.”

He closes, “You are an admirable judge, an admirable woman, and you have very high esteem in my eyes. I have yet to decide where I’m going on this, because I’m deeply troubled by the answers I couldn’t get in the 50 minutes I’ve had.”

Leahy says there will be a third round of questioning for senators, with up to ten minutes per senator.

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