As Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor is grilled by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on abortion and gun control it is worth noting that Judge Sotomayor has drawn support from religious leaders who support the right of women to make their own health care decisions and from advocates of gun control who hope to reduce gun violence by restricting access to cop killer bullets and assault weapons.
The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) said on May 26, 2009 that:
With today's historic nomination of federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama has fulfilled his promise to appoint a jurist with outstanding legal credentials as well as empathy for the daily struggles of individuals and families.
RCRC is a coalition for mainline Christian denominations (United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church USA, Presbyterian Church USA, etc.), Jewish groups and other interfaith partners.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence released a statement this week that read in part:
During the second day of her Senate confirmation hearings, Judge Sotomayor has now been asked for her views on the Second Amendment. She has given clear and responsible answers, while not pre-judging any issues that may come before her on the Court. We have been impressed with her presentation.
In stark contrast, gun lobby extremists have revealed their preference for an activist Supreme Court Justice who would support their ‘any gun, anywhere, anytime’ ideology. Judge Sotomayor's comments today as well as her judicial opinions in cases involving gun laws, however, show respect for the Constitution, for precedent and for the considered judgments of legislative bodies in protecting communities from gun violence.
Mainline Christian denominations have long advocated for gun control to stem violence. Listen to my recent sermon "God, Guns & American Violence: Turning Weapons Into Ploughshares" for more information on this issue.
The Religious Right, however, is clearly displeased by the nomination. The Family Research Council's leadership has stated that "President Obama has nominated a radically anti-Second Amendment judge to be our newest Supreme Court justice."
The nomination is expected to be approved by the U.S. Senate.