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Key Excerpt: Graham and Sotomayor on Abortion

CQ Transcriptions

GRAHAM: Roe v. Wade looked at the Constitution and decided that the Constitution, as applied to a claim's right, applied.

GRAHAM: Is there anything in the Constitution that says a state legislator or the Congress cannot regulate abortion or the definition of life in the first trimester?

SOTOMAYOR: The holding of the Court as...

GRAHAM: I'm asking the Constitution. Does the Constitution, as written, prohibit a legislative body at state or federal level from defining life or relating the rights of the unborn or protecting the rights of the unborn in the first trimester?

SOTOMAYOR: The Constitution in the 14th Amendment, has a...

GRAHAM: I'm sorry. Is there anything in the document written about abortion?

SOTOMAYOR: The word "abortion" is not used in the Constitution, but the Constitution does have a broad provision concerning a liberty provision under the due process...

GRAHAM: And that gets us to the speeches. That broad provision of the Constitution that's taken us from no written prohibition protecting the unborn, no written statement that you can't voluntarily pray in school, and on and on and on and on, and that's what drives us here, quite frankly.

That's my concern. And when we talk about balls and strikes, maybe that's not the right way to talk about it. But a lot of us feel that the best way to change society is to go to the ballot box, elect someone, and if they are not doing it right, get rid of them through the electoral process. And a lot of us are concerned from the left and the right that unelected judges are very quick to change society in a way that's disturbing. Can you understand how people may feel that way?

SOTOMAYOR: Certainly, sir.

Read the entire exchange between Sen. Graham and Judge Sotomayor. Read more on Sotomayor and the abortion issue.

By washingtonpost.com  |  July 14, 2009; 5:26 PM ET
Categories:  Hearings , Supreme Court , Topics: Abortion  
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