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USCCB Head Writes President Bush On Supreme Court Vacancy
USCCB.org/communications ^ | 07-06-05 | Most Reverend William S. Skylstad

Posted on 07/07/2005 8:27:35 PM PDT by Salvation

USCCB Head Writes President Bush On Supreme Court Vacancy

WASHINGTON (July 6, 2005)—Spokane Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has written to President Bush about “the qualities that I hope you would contemplate” as Mr. Bush considers the appointment of a successor to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor who announced her retirement from the Supreme Court on July 1.

In his letter, dated July 1, Bishop Skylstad wrote that “the legacy of a Supreme Court Justice is long and the influence of the Court on the life of the country and the development of the Law is considerable.”

Bishop Skylstad noted that the USCCB does not participate in the confirmation process “by endorsing or opposing specific nominees. Our concern is for principles and policies rather than for personalities.” He said that “we will maintain that position with regard to this Supreme Court appointment and to those that will come in the future.”

However, noting “the Supreme Court’s ability to affect both principles and policies,” Bishop Skylstad asked Mr. Bush to consider “qualified jurists who, pre-eminently, support the protection of human life from conception to natural death, especially of those who are unborn, disabled, or terminally ill.”

Bishop Skylstad asked Mr. Bush “to consider jurists who are also cognizant of the rights of minorities, immigrants, and those in need; respect the role of religion and of religious institutions in our society and the protections afforded them by the First Amendment; recognize the value of parental choice in education; and favor restraining and ending the use of the death penalty.”

Bishop Skylstad concluded, “Our prayers are with you as you make this decision which is so crucial for our nation.”

The full text of the letter appears below.

Dear Mr. President,

As the nation ponders the legacy of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the occasion of her retirement from the bench, we are reminded that the legacy of a Supreme Court Justice is long and the influence of the Court on the life of the country and the development of the Law is considerable. At this time, I want to take the opportunity to draw to your attention the qualities that I hope you would contemplate as you decide on the appointment of her successor.

When a nomination is made, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops does not participate by endorsing or opposing specific nominees. Our concern is for principles and policies rather than for personalities. We will maintain that position with regard to this Supreme Court appointment and to those that will come in the future.

However, because of the Supreme Court’s ability to affect both principles and policies, I urge you to consider for the Court qualified jurists who, pre-eminently, support the protection of human life from conception to natural death, especially of those who are unborn, disabled, or terminally ill. I would ask you to consider jurists who are also cognizant of the rights of minorities, immigrants, and those in need; respect the role of religion and of religious institutions in our society and the protections afforded them by the First Amendment; recognize the value of parental choice in education; and favor restraining and ending the use of the death penalty. There are many specific applications of these and other fundamental matters which the USCCB has addressed or will address in the future through amicus briefs.

Our prayers are with you as you make this decision which is so crucial for our nation.

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend William S. Skylstad
Bishop of Spokane
President


Email us at commdept@usccb.org
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KEYWORDS: presidentbush; replace; sandradayoconnor; skylstad; supremecourt; usa; usccb
FYI and discussion
1 posted on 07/07/2005 8:27:36 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: All

**I urge you to consider for the Court qualified jurists who, pre-eminently, support the protection of human life from conception to natural death, especially of those who are unborn, disabled, or terminally ill.**

I'm impressed with this. What do all of you think?


2 posted on 07/07/2005 8:28:48 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

**and favor restraining and ending the use of the death penalty.**

Guess he had to get his two cents in, huh?


3 posted on 07/07/2005 8:30:26 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; NYer; american colleen; Pyro7480; sinkspur; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

4 posted on 07/07/2005 8:31:42 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Additional comments here.
5 posted on 07/07/2005 8:39:07 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

President Bush should consider a Pro-Life Justice,
That is, opposite of Sandra Day, O'Connor!


6 posted on 07/07/2005 8:48:29 PM PDT by Smartass (Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: Smartass

Amen to that!


7 posted on 07/07/2005 8:51:06 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Abortion in itself is bad enough. On the other hand, partial birth abortion is an absolutely horrendous procedure. Without doubt, murder! I have always contended, that if all Supreme Courts Justices, would just once, attend a partial birth, that law would overturned ABC...now!


8 posted on 07/07/2005 8:58:36 PM PDT by Smartass (Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: Salvation
My dear Salvation, I don't think we have to worry about President Bush on this one. I firmly believe he would rather be impeached for whatever, rather than go against his word regarding being pro life. He displays such strong convictions regarding his beliefs. He is such a strong, powerful man. (md)
9 posted on 07/07/2005 8:58:41 PM PDT by Texagirl4W ("I am too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed!")
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To: Salvation
Guess he had to get his two cents in, huh?

I don't want a judge with an agenda. I want judges who will determine the law according to the plain language and meaning of the constitution. I don't want a "pro life" judge or a "pro death penalty" judge. I want a pro constitution judge. A strict constructionist who will set aside his own agenda and rule according to the intent of the founders and those who passed the constitution.

I suspect that any such judge would rule that abortion is not a constitutional right and that the death penalty is not cruel and unusual punishment.

10 posted on 07/07/2005 8:59:14 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (A preposition is something you should never end a sentence with.)
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To: P-Marlowe

**I want a pro constitution judge. **

Agree with you all the way.

Protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


11 posted on 07/07/2005 9:00:51 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Texagirl4W

Bush is more pro-life than many Catholics. God will bless him accordingly.


12 posted on 07/07/2005 9:01:51 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Exactly: Protecting LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I've never understood the argument from groups like NOW and NARAL that they want the government out of the bedroom, their right to privacy protected. Yet they expect that the government (everybody else) should pay for the results of what they do in the bedroom, which makes the responsibilty very public.


13 posted on 07/07/2005 9:28:42 PM PDT by pieces of time
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To: P-Marlowe
I agree with you, Legislation must come from the Congress. If we allow or encourage those who we place on the Supreme Court to legislate from the bench, than we are no different from the people whom we despise for the same thing.

We must insist on Judges who will respect the Constitution as it is written and not how they think it should be interpreted. The recent "Takings" decision is a perfect example of how the Supreme Court has become politicized. To think that the SCOTUS could decide that Private property could be seized under the 5th Amendment and transfered to another private party simply because of the increased Tax Revenue the State would receive is something our Founders would condemn, and most likely call for the Militia's to prepare for war

14 posted on 07/07/2005 9:29:08 PM PDT by MJY1288 (Whenever a Liberal is Speaking on the Senate Floor, Al-Jazeera Breaks in and Covers it LIVE)
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To: Salvation
What do all of you think?

There go those Catholics meddling in politics again. Just kidding.

'Twould be nice, but I fear it won't come to pass. We can hope.

15 posted on 07/07/2005 9:33:12 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: P-Marlowe; Salvation
I want judges who will determine the law according to the plain language and meaning of the constitution.

I agree. That is the role of the judiciary. Convincing the legislatures to oppose abortion is ours.

16 posted on 07/07/2005 9:38:43 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Error 404: Page Not Found)
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To: Salvation; Coleus; cpforlife.org

Get ready to saddle up for the long ride on this.


17 posted on 07/07/2005 10:23:43 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: P-Marlowe
I don't want a judge with an agenda. I want judges who will determine the law according to the plain language and meaning of the constitution. I don't want a "pro life" judge or a "pro death penalty" judge. I want a pro constitution judge. A strict constructionist who will set aside his own agenda and rule according to the intent of the founders and those who passed the constitution.

I suspect that any such judge would rule that abortion is not a constitutional right and that the death penalty is not cruel and unusual punishment.

*************

I couldn't agree more.

18 posted on 07/08/2005 5:28:40 AM PDT by trisham ("Live Free or Die," General John Stark, July 31, 1809)
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To: Salvation
I think his comments were fair enough. For the most part Catholics are pro-life on both sides of the aisle.

I would rather see someone who has committed a capital crime serve the rest of his life doing hard labor, with no hope for parole.

19 posted on 07/08/2005 5:32:43 AM PDT by mware ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche........ "Nope, you are"-- GOD)
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To: Salvation

...death penalty

&&
This really sticks in my craw! I grew up with the Baltimore Catechism, which taught me that the death penalty and warfare are acceptable under certain conditions. I am so sick of the liberals gloming this onto Church statements these days. But I am glad that the bishop addressed abortion.


20 posted on 07/08/2005 6:18:09 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Never trust Democrats with national security.)
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To: mware

All catholics are pro-life


21 posted on 07/08/2005 7:42:15 AM PDT by johnb838 (A chill wind.)
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To: Bigg Red

I thought the death penalty gave a soul a chance to receive mercy from God because it had reached a pass where on earth it would receive none. I thought warfare was justified to protect and save the innocent from being brutalized from the strong.

I don't like the liberal influences on the church either. Had enough of that crap in the Episcopal church, and they aren't even as in your face about it as some of the catholics are. I think it's that Catholic guilt thing.


22 posted on 07/08/2005 7:45:22 AM PDT by johnb838 (A chill wind.)
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To: Salvation
**and favor restraining and ending the use of the death penalty.**

Guess he had to get his two cents in, huh?

From my lofty perch I would advise the U.S. bishops: Don't Put The Cart In Front Of The Horse, Gentlemen!

If you want a restrained and rarely used penalty you will first have to work for legislatures and a judiciary that will remove unjust aggressors from society for their entire natural lives. Do that first and then we'll talk. No fig leaves, please!

Of course, with escape artists like Ted Bundy, life imprisonment is really not a feasible alternative. That is, if you are actually serious about protecting the innocent.

23 posted on 07/08/2005 8:30:44 AM PDT by siunevada
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To: Salvation

I'm actually feeling pretty good about this nomination process. It's going to be TOUGH, but my feeling is we're going to get a good one in there. We will succeed.


24 posted on 07/08/2005 8:36:07 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: Salvation
Since Bush's election, he has spoken by phone to the crowd assembled at the grandstand prior to the March for Life. In each instance he has stated unequivocally that his goal is to protect the unborn in law.

It's now time to walk the talk. If he appoints a squishy justice who thinks Roe is unassailable and stare decisis rules, I'll be one pissed off guy.

25 posted on 07/08/2005 8:41:52 AM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Salvation
Thanks for the ping, Salvation. The challenge we are having now is that there are many in our society who refuse to recognize that human life between fertilization and birth is still LIFE, and that of course causes problems with their interpretation of the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

All induced abortion is homicide.

It's good Bishop Skylstad has clearly established the Catholic expectations for a fair and competent jurist, as I've seen at least one heterodox article that has tried to muddy the waters by claiming that the true Catholic concerns on other legal issues such as gun control and the environment outweigh our concerns about abortion.
26 posted on 07/08/2005 9:11:15 AM PDT by InterestedQuestioner
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To: johnb838

I think it's that Catholic guilt thing.

**
I suppose.


27 posted on 07/08/2005 9:38:16 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Never trust Democrats with national security.)
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To: FourtySeven
I'm actually feeling pretty good about this nomination process. It's going to be TOUGH, but my feeling is we're going to get a good one in there. We will succeed.

May it be as you say.
28 posted on 07/08/2005 9:39:12 AM PDT by InterestedQuestioner
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