Keep Catholics Off the Court
A jaw-dropping op-ed piece in today’s Boston Globe suggests that these three justices got it exactly wrong. One Christopher D. Morris, “a writer and critic in Northfield, Vt.,” argues that the Senate Judiciary Committee should subject the Catholic Church, and Catholic jurists, to special scrutiny:Nobody has ever suggested that Ruth Bader Ginsberg should recuse herself from cases in which the ACLU is involved, in spite of her having been a staffer with that organization. Nobody has ever suggested that an atheist must recuse himself or herself from any case involving Church and State. It is only religion that is considered suspect.Catholic bishops threatened to exclude Senator John Kerry from the Eucharist because of his support for Roe v. Wade. The Senate Judiciary Committee is now fully justified in asking these bishops whether the same threats would apply to Supreme Court nominee Judge Roberts, if he were to vote to uphold Roe v. Wade.In other words, in order to preserve the bogus constitutional right to abortion, it is necessary to disregard the actual constitutional provisions for church-state separation and against religious tests for officeholders. It’s yet another reason why Roe must go.
The bishops have made this question legitimate because Americans no longer know whether a Catholic judge can hear abortion cases without an automatic conflict of interest. . . .
Asking the bishops to testify would be healthy. If they rescinded the threats made against Kerry, then Roberts would feel free to make his decision without the appearance of a conflict of interest, and Catholic politicians who support Roe v. Wade would gain renewed confidence in their advocacy. If the bishops repeated or confirmed their threats, the Senate Judiciary Committee should draft legislation calling for the automatic recusal of Catholic judges from cases citing Roe v. Wade as a precedent.
The quoted article was not the editorial position of the Boston Globe, but the fact that the editorial page editor thought it worth publishing is revealing. It apparently met some minimal credibility test that a racist screed from a Klansman would not have.
But in fact, the Klan in its heyday in the 20s was anti-Catholic just as it was anti-Jewish and anti-black. Indeed, the sentiments expressed in the article might well have been those of a Klansman circa 1925.