What an embarrassment to Illinois Durbin is. From today's Sun Times,
In questioning Alito on Wednesday morning, Durbin pressed him on abortion, specifically on why he could not say if he found "constitutional support'' for a woman's right to choose or if the Supreme Court rulings were the settled law of the land.
"You can't bring yourself to say there's a constitutional basis for the right of a woman's privacy when she is deciding, making a tragic, painful decision about continuing a pregnancy that may risk her health or her life, I'm troubled by that,'' Durbin said.
Coburn came prepared to make some rhetorical points in the daylong Judiciary Committee hearing. When it was Coburn's turn to question Alito, he turned on Durbin -- who was not in the room.
"I wanted to razz him a little bit. . . . But I want to put forward, for 45 years Senator Durbin was adamantly pro-life, and he wrote multiple, multiple letters expressing that up until 1989.''
Coburn brandished a 1989 letter Durbin, then a House member, wrote to a Springfield constituent when he said he believed Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling paving the way for legalized abortion, should be reversed.
In short order, Durbin's communications director, Joe Shoemaker, issued a statement that Durbin "reconsidered his position on abortion after meeting with victims of rape and incest.''