Skip to comments.Abortion Ruling Raises Backlash for Catholic Justices (BARF alert)
Posted on 04/26/2007 1:13:19 PM PDT by Rutles4Ever
— - The Supreme Court's landmark abortion ruling last week has triggered an anti-Catholic backlash, with critics pointing to the Catholic faith of the five justices in the majority and suggesting their religious views influenced their decision in the case.
The allegations have outraged Catholic organizations and conservative commentators, who have called the criticism bigoted and intolerant.
In the days after the court's 5-4 decision upholding the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, a number of liberal commentators homed in on religious views of the justices in the majority who had voted to uphold the act.
Talk show panelist Rosie O'Donnell was among the first to make the point.
"You know what concerns me?" O'Donnell asked last week on ABC's "The View." "How many Supreme Court judges are Catholic?"
"Five," said host Barbara Walters.
"Five," O'Donnell said. "How about separation of church and state in America?"
Walters counseled against drawing conclusions, saying, "We cannot assume that they did it because they're Catholic."
But O'Donnell had more to say.
"If men could get pregnant," O'Donnell said, "abortion would be a sacrament."
The comments sparked immediate outrage. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Laura Ingraham has led the battle against O'Donnell, urging listeners to e-mail ABC to protest what she calls O'Donnell's "anti-Catholic bigotry."
"'The View's' Rosie O'Donnell continues on her tear down the path of the Rich and Unhinged, this time with an anti-Catholic rant against the Supreme Court," Ingraham wrote on her Web site. "Could she ever get away with denigrating the Muslim faith this way?"
O'Connor's Retirement Changes Outcome
At issue in the court's decision last week was the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which Congress passed in 2003 with bipartisan support. In all, 17 Senate Democrats voted for it, as did 47 Senate Republicans. Congress passed the law after the Supreme Court in 2000 struck down similar laws in about 30 states.
Sandra Day O'Connor, who retired in 2005, cast the deciding vote with liberals in the 2000 case. Replacing her with Justice Samuel Alito made the difference in last week's decision, which said the legislature -- expressing the will of the people -- could seek to protect and promote the life of the unborn.
Alito became the fifth Catholic on the court when he took O'Connor's place in early 2006. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas also are Catholic, as is Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the decision.
Kennedy emphasized in the decision that the justices were interpreting a federal law that would not prevent any abortions. Congress concluded the partial-birth procedure was never medically necessary, because other procedures were available to doctors performing abortions.
Reaction to the decision immediately focused on whether the newly constituted court was poised to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that gave women the right to choose an abortion to terminate a pregnancy.
Kennedy, however, suggested the court was not in a position to overturn Roe. He refused to overturn Roe the last time the court considered it in 1992, and his decision last week indicated he had not changed his mind on that broader issue.
'Venomous … Anti-Catholic' Cartoon
O'Donnell wasn't the only one to suggest religion had influenced the justices' approach. The Philadelphia Inquirer published a cartoon Friday entitled "Church and State" that featured the five Catholic members of the court wearing bishop miters.
Joseph Cella, president of the Catholic-based organization Fidelis, called the cartoon "venomous, terribly misleading and blatantly anti-Catholic."
"The Supreme Court did not 'follow marching orders' from the Vatican or the bishops in the United States," Cella said. "Instead, the court deferred to deliberative judgment of the people's elected representatives protected by the Constitution."
But academics, including the former dean of the University of Chicago Law School, also have said the Catholic faith of the five justices influenced their thinking in the case Gonzales vs. Carhart.
"All five justices in the majority in Gonzales are Catholic," wrote Geoffrey Stone, now a professor at the law school, in a faculty blog. "The four justices who either are Protestant or Jewish all voted in accord with settled precedent. It is mortifying to have to point this out. But it is too obvious, and too telling to ignore."
Stone said it was "sad" that the justices in the majority had "failed to respect the fundamental difference between religious belief and morality."
University of Chicago Law School professor Richard Garnett wrote a critical response, saying Stone "misses the mark" in suggesting the justices imposed their religious views on people who do not share their beliefs. Garnett earlier had strongly criticized the Inquirer cartoon.
Garnett said what troubled him was the claim that the justices voted to uphold the ban because they are Catholics "and not because they think, as intelligent and engaged lawyers, that the Constitution does not disable legislatures entirely from regulating what most people (not just Catholics, fideists, and sexists) regard as a particularly gruesome abortion procedure."
That takes a lot of gaul. I suppose the only solution is to have nothing but atheists on the Supreme Court? Oh, it's another "educator" flapping at the mouth? Nevermind.
Stone said it was "sad" that the justices in the majority had "failed to respect the fundamental difference between religious belief and morality."
He and every member of his immediate and extended family should be eternally mortified by this imbecilic statement. ?
There goes any chance Roberts had for being reelected.
How many triple-meat hoagies you can cram sideways into your great, cavernous maw at once, perhaps? Stamp your hoof twice if I'm getting warm, dear.
Wow, that old Catholic allegiance to the Constitution and not some fantasy of a belief of what the Constitution might mean is disgraceful.
>>How many Supreme Court judges are Catholic?... “Five,” O’Donnell said. “How about separation of church and state in America?” <<
Isn’t it amazing how we have a high school graduate lecturing us on constitutional law? And ostensibly, one of Irish descent, as well.
I’d personally love to goad this woman. I think she’d explode.
Well, I certainly HOPE that the five Catholic justices voted their religion on abortion, and will continue to do so again and again and again.
In fact, I hope they vote their religion on a whole passel of issues, ranging from gay marriage and fetal stem-cell research to euthanasia of the elderly.
Catholicism is the most stringent pro-life institution on the planet. Five life-appointed Catholic Supreme Court justices who follow their consciences and take their moral instructions from Rome would get us precisely where we ought to be on a variety of very evil issues.
Let’s go for six Catholics on the Supreme Court!
And as an aside, I’m sure a high school graduate could very well lecture on constitutional law (in fact, every single law professor across the country is indeed such). But it’s glaringly obvious that this woman has done little more than open her mouth for the past decade and a half. And she has most definitely NOT been freshening up on ConLaw.
You mean the kind, tolerant, loving Leftists are exhibiting prejudice and hatred towards another group of people and their beliefs? Say it ain’t so!
In 1970, Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn observed:
Let us not forget that violence does not and cannot flourish by itself; it is inevitably intertwined with lying. Between them there is the closest, the most profound and natural bond: nothing screens violence except lies, and the only way lies can hold out is by violence.
The more odious the violence, the greater the deceit is needed to justify it. Therefore, the defense of partial-birth abortion has required an inexhaustible store of lies.
47+ MILLION Children have been dismembered while alive since Roe.
1973 United States Supreme Court
The greatest evil is not done in those sordid dens of evil that Dickens loved to paint but is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices.
C. S. Lewis
Note that the only two who voted against the majority in Roe v Wade (against MURDERING babies) are on the right side of the photo. Rehnquist standing and White seated.
Blackmun invented a right to abortion....Roe had nothing whatever to do with constitutional interpretation. The utter emptiness of the opinion has been demonstrated time and again, but that, too, is irrelevant. The decision and its later reaffirmations simply enforce the cultural prejudices of a particular class in American society, nothing more and nothing less. For that reason, Roe is impervious to logical or historical argument; it is what some people, including a majority of the Justices, want, and that is that.
Roe should be overruled and the issue of abortion returned to the moral sense and the democratic choice of the American people. Abortions are killings by private persons. Science and rational demonstration prove that a human exists from the moment of conception. Scalia is quite right that the Constitution has nothing to say about abortion.
--Robert H. Bork
Constitutional Persons: An Exchange on Abortion
Robert H. Bork is a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.
Sadly abortion IS a “sacrament” to the femi-nazi CULTure of death.
Know-Nothingism 2007 style.
I thought this was the crux of the SCOTUS decision. The law prohibited one gruesome procedure and that the lawsuit seeking to overturn the partial birth abortion law didn't involve any cases where any mother's life was in jeopardy, hence was not medically necessary. The only way this law could get overturned at SCOTUS is if a woman did require this particular procedure for medical reasons to save her life and no other procedure could be performed. Therefore this law caused her harm. That being said, since there has never been such a precident in medical history, there will likely never be such a SCOTUS case and this law will stand. Partial birth abortion is gone for good :)
All Gaul is divided into three parts...atheists, secularists, and ignoramuses.
How does someone with a name like O'Donnell turn out to be such an anti-Catholic fanatic? Presumably her ancestors were Irish Catholics...did she used to be one herself?
The Constitution is suspect, since one of the signers was a Catholic (Danl. Carroll of Maryland).
"But academics, including the former dean of the University of Chicago Law School, also have said the Catholic faith of the five justices influenced their thinking in the case Gonzales vs. Carhart."
Do they wonder if Lieberman's Jewish faith influences his thinking about Iraq?
The woman sees she's made a huge mistake and was too drunk.
The man says, "Well if you have to abort it, I guess you have to."
Thinks to himself, "Whew, that was close!"
That about right?
“The Supreme Court’s landmark abortion ruling last week has triggered an anti-Catholic backlash, with critics pointing to the Catholic faith of the five justices in the majority and suggesting their religious views influenced their decision in the case. “
Morons. Evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants and Orthodox Jews oppose abortion also. So do Orthodox Christians.
My guess is the two “Jewish” justices who voted for it are secular cultural Jews rather than religious Jews.
Rosie’s comment was crude and stupid (not to mention very unoriginal). However, I do think it’s reasonable for people to be concerned about a Catholic majority on the court when 1) this doesn’t reflect the religious make-up of the country, and 2) The Catholic Church is fond of issuing pronouncements telling politicial figures that as Catholics they are obligated to vote in accordance with the Church’s teachings, especially on this topic. Same would hold for any other religion: a one-religions majority on the court is somewhat problematic if it’s not reflective of the country’s religious make-up, and even more problematic if the religion in question officially teaches that political figures are obligated to vote in accordance with its teachings.
One prick would do it, I do believe!
...I doubt most people would even know they were Catholic without ABC out there waving the bloody shirt around.
Looks like ‘08 is going to be a long year to be a Catholic....or a Mormon.
Any individual that thinks anti-abortion activity is an exclusive concern to Catholics is an ass.
The small minded who crawl to the refuge of Catholic Hate as a diversion away from facing the harsh reality of the violence perpetrated on innocent new life are to the rest of us pathetic, self-indulging fools. It’s far too plain for pro-abortionists to accept the simple principle that those of us who abhor the systematic process of abortion are concerned about ‘the children’ and not what the fools perceive as blind adherence to the coincidence of religious values.
So, in other words, we need some affirmative action on the SCOTUS? Why stop there? Let’s analyze the religious makeup of Congress. And the Presidential cabinet. And the Defense Department. You know, there are too many neo-con Jews in the Department of Defense. That’s why we’re in Iraq, right? At least, that’s what the media says.
The Ginzburg broad hardly votes to support “precedent”. She’s the worst ideologue on the court and consistently votes to kill the innocent and enrich the guilty.
Exactly right. The public would have no clue with the exception of Justices Scalia and maybe Alito. And that’s simply because they’ve got blatantly Italian names. Kennedy? Maybe.
But then again, I’d be surprised if 30-40% of the public can name a single justice on the Surpreme Court. And that’s with all the press they’ve had recently.
As the non-Catholics die off, retire or get kicked off the Court, it is time to nominate no one but Holy Rollers ~ (to keep up with that "represenative of the population" part).
The Supreme Court has a serious Catholic problem.
There are only five!
Psssst! Plan B is now in effect! Kennedy has been activated!
There are only five!"
I wish brother. There are only four. Anthony Kennedy is a heretic. He continues to support Roe v Wade. Also IIRC Kennedy supports sodomite rights.
He served at the Court under Brennan, a bigger hypocrite than which one cannot imagine. Brennan pushed Blackmun into his opinion, because he was afraid, as a nominal Catholic, to get his hands dirty by openly taking the lead.
Anyone lumping her in with serious people can be ignored after that point.
Behan is also a bitter ex-Catholic. I found it interesting that Walters went along with her. . Jews like Walters are generally more subtle in their anti-Catholicism.
Rosie is an anti-Catholic hatemonger!
And she cares nothing for the Constitution!
The foaming-at-the-mouth law professor from Chicago would do well to explain which portions of the decision support his claim that the majority “failed to respect fundamental difference between religious belief and morality”, or be ridiculed for being unable to do so.
Guy sounds more like Rosie than a professor of law.
Ha! LOL :):):)
it is unjust to cast this all on one denomination...
that, however, is the way of the world. throw aspersions on others to take the light of truth off themselves and escape responsibility. it is what abortion does, as well, removing the proof..in hopes of escaping responsibility. unfortunately, as most post-abortives will attest, the invisible shame and guilt they carry around will not release them from the burden of their choice of irresponsibility.
A Catholic majority on the Supreme Court which is not reflective of the population should not be denigrated on the grounds of religious bias. If you hold to a religion then you should hold to it in all places, especially public ones, otherwise you are a coward and a phoney. But the real issue when it comes to religion is whether all religions are equal. If they are equal then they are equally erroneous. Therefore there must be some disparity in the amount of truth that each religion holds. The Catholic Church, which does have a long history that can be criticized, is the only church or religion which can rightfully claim to have been founded by God Himself. And for that reason She cannot alter what God has given Her. Likewise, She is often at odds with the “popular” misconceptions of any given moment in history. But at the same time Her teaching on matters of faith remain constant. Long before science revealed that human life begins at conception that was the teaching of the Catholic Church. We can see this illustrated in the Gospel when Saint John the Baptist recognised Christ while they were both still in their mothers’ wombs.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.