Archive for the ‘President’ Category

Election Results

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Gallons of ink, and millions of electrons, have been spilled on the results of last week’s election, and what it means for our nation, our state, the political fortunes of the President and a host of other presidential contenders, our new-fangled voting machines, etc.

I’m more interested in real results.

On the national level, the switch of control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans has brought with it a pro-life majority. The narrowing of the Democratic majority in the Senate also increases the chances for some pro-life legislation. These election results present new opportunities for real gains on Culture of Life issues.

The top priority has to be passing the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. Currently, restrictions on public funding for abortion comes through piecemeal amendments to the budget bills. This means that pro-lifers have to be vigilant about all the various ways that canny legislators and bureaucrats can find to promote abortion. So, the Hyde Amendment restricts funding through the Medicaid program, the Helms Amendment stops funding for oversees abortions, the Smith Amendment prevents federal employee health insurance plans from covering abortion, and the Weldon Amendment provides conscience protection to medical personnel. Each year, these amendments have to be passed against the opposition of pro-abortion members of Congress.

This bill would take the provisions of these individual amendments, make them permanent law, and apply them across the entire federal budget. This would cure the major flaw in the health care reform law, as well as offer genuine and solid conscience protection for all medical personnel. This is a bill that would easily pass the House, and has a decent chance of passing the Senate — public funding for abortion is deeply unpopular.  It would be very interesting to see what our pro-abortion President would do if this bill appeared on his desk.

That’s one result of the elections that we’re looking forward to.

On the state level, the results of the election are not as positive. Our state has elected an ardently pro-abortion Governor and a radically pro-abortion Attorney General. Both men have committed to pressing for the passage of the extremist Reproductive Health Act. The chaos over the results of the elections for the State Senate (the final outcome is still in doubt) leaves Culture of Life supporters with a deep sense of uneasiness that the real result of the state elections could be very, very bad. So, we must remain vigilant in monitoring what goes on in Albany.

Perhaps the most interesting result of the election is the continuing demonstration of the popularity of the pro-life position. Conventional “wisdom” characterizes a pro-life stand as an electoral loser, and encourages candidates to avoid it. Conventional wisdom is dead wrong.   Polls show that 30% of the voters in this election said that abortion “affected” their vote. But it’s the breakdown of that 30% that’s most interesting — 22% voted for pro-life candidates, while only 8% voted for pro-abortion candidates. That’s an advantage of almost three to one in favor of life.

This reflects an on-going trend that I’ve written about but that continues to elude the mainstream media. Our culture is slowly changing towards greater respect for life, and a greater desire to promote life. The new pro-life majority in Congress is just one reflection of this trend. More will follow.

That is a very encouraging result of the election.

The President Misses on Health Care Reform

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

The President has finally presented his own version of a health care reform bill.  Well, not so much as a bill as a proposal, but without detailed legislative language or enough specifics to allow the experts to figure out how much it will cost.  Maybe we should call it a framework for a bill.

Actually, the President’s framework amounts to little more than a warmed-over version of the bill that was rushed through the Senate to a vote last Christmas Eve.  And, as such, it has all the essential flaws as that bill had.

All along, the bishops have been insisting that a health care reform bill must retain the longstanding requirement that federal funds are not used for elective abortions or plans that include them, and that any bill must adequately protect conscience rights of individuals and institutions.

So, it’s not hard to see how the President’s framework falls short:

  • Fails to include the strong Stupak Amendment to the House bill, which retained the current legal status quo, banning the use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions.
  • Retains the weak Nelson Amendment from the Senate bill, which would allow federal money to pay for and subsidize elective abortions, and would require everyone to pay for them.
  • Fails to include strong conscience protection language that was part of the Stupak Amendment to the House Bill, thus leaving the conscience rights of faith-based health care providers at risk.
  • Permits direct taxpayer funding for elective abortions through the federal health program that serves Native Americans.
  • Contains language (the Mikulski Amendment) that would permit federal regulators to define abortion as “preventative care”, which would force every insurance plans to cover elective abortions.
  • Provides $11 billion dollars for so-called “community health centers” (even more than the original Senate bill);  without any language preventing these funds from paying for elective abortions, it is likely that they would wind up going to groups like Planned Parenthood.
  • In September, the President made the following statement to a joint session of Congress:

    under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions

    Even by his own standards, the President’s framework for a health care bill has failed.  Instead, it would lead to an unprecedented expansion of abortion in our nation and massive federal funding for elective abortions.

    It must be defeated.

    It’s Time, Mr. President

    Friday, October 16th, 2009

    Now that three different health care reform bills have been passed by Congressional committees, the leaders of Congress, together with the Administration, are working to produce a final bill.

    It’s time for the President to deliver on his promise, made to the public at a joint session of Congress, that “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”Time is starting to run out, because the current situation is that abortion would most definitely be paid for by federal money — by our tax dollars, against our will.

    The status quo, right now, is that federal funds are not used to pay for elective abortions. Federal employee benefit plans do not cover elective abortions, and federal health insurance programs for the poor (Medicaid) also do not pay for elective abortions. If individuals wish to have an elective abortion, they must either pay for it with their own money or obtain a private insurance plan that covers elective abortion.

    But all of the health care reform bills in Congress would change this status quo. All of the bills define the services that must be covered in health insurance plans by using terminology such as “outpatient services”, “family planning”, “physicians’ services”, “preventive services”, etc. Federal courts have interpreted all of these terms to include abortion. In fact, some of the bills explicitly require federal funding for elective abortions, while others require that at least some federally-subsidized insurance plans cover elective abortions. Every attempt so far to amend these bills to explicitly exclude abortion funding has been defeated.

    In addition, each of the bills would give the Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority to define what kind of services would be included in the benefits that a private insurance plan must provide. Given the pro-abortion position of the current Administration, there is little doubt that abortion would be included among those benefits.

    Unless the President and the leaders of Congress — including the Catholic Speaker of the House — do something, the final health care bill will require federal funding and insurance coverage for elective abortions. And, for the first time, federal law will define elective abortion to be “health care”, even though it’s the only medical procedure that is intended to kill someone.

    One of the worst parts of this whole debate has been the level of misinformation coming from the proponents of health care reform, including from the White House itself. We are repeatedly told by Senators, pundits, and the White House spokesman, that we don’t need to worry, because the Hyde Amendment will prevent federal dollars from being spent on elective abortions.

    That’s just flat out false, and it’s so obviously false that it’s hard to believe that any reasonably well-informed person could believe it.

    The reality is this. The Hyde Amendment limits federal Medicaid funding for abortion to those cases where it is necessary to preserve the life of the mother, or if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest. It will not apply to the pending health insurance reform plans, which will be paid for outside of the normal funding stream that covers Medicaid. Also, the Hyde Amendment is not a permanent federal statute — it is an amendment to the budget that has to be passed every year, and which can be removed at any time at the whim of the majority in Congress (or the leaders who control the amendments that are permitted). This is why each of the pending health care reform bills has to be specifically amended to exclude abortion coverage and payments. Yet every attempt so far to do so has been defeated — by the same people who tell us that we have nothing to worry about.

    The bottom line is this — it’s time for the President to show that he’s a man of his word, and for Catholics in Congress to show that their faith means something to them. They must support amendments to exclude abortion from health care reform.

    Honoring Families Without Honoring Marriage?

    Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

    It seems that yesterday was “Family Day” here in the United States.  I didn’t receive the memo, but the White House did.  So, the President dutifully issued a proclamation that spoke of the importance of parents, empathized with their struggles, and exhorted them to keep up the good work.  He even found the time to extoll parents in same-sex relationships.

    But there was one word that was conspicuous by its absence from the President’s proclamation.  Guess what it was?

    There was nary a mention of the word “Marriage”.

    So here we have the President of the United States talking about the importance of family and parenthood, but he can’t seem to bring himself to mention the single most important factor in ensuring a successful family — an intact marriage.  This is incomprehensible, especially for a man who has a very happy marriage and family.  How can he not realize that the same blessing that he has received is also the best situation for everyone?

    The importance of marriage for adults, children, and society is incontrovertable, by all evidence from the social sciences, including:

    • Children born in an intact marriage have a dramatically lower chance of living in poverty than those born outside of marriage. 
    • Boys whose parents divorced or never married are two to three times more likely to end up in jail as adults.
    • Children whose parents get and stay married are healthier and also much less likely to suffer mental illness, including depression and teen suicide.
    • Families with an intact marriage are, on average, substantially more economically secure. 
    • Children whose parents never marry are far more likely to require public assistance.
    • Both men and women who marry live longer, healthier and happier lives. On virtually every measure of health and well-being, married people are better-off than otherwise similar singles.
    • Unmarried women are twice as likely to suffer domestic violence.  
    • Children with married parents are significantly safer — they are a far lower risk of drug use, engaging in sexual activity, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, abortion, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect.
    • Children whose parents divorced or never married have lower grade point averages, are more likely to be held back a grade, to drop out of or be expelled from school, and are less likely to graduate from college.

    If the President isn’t clear on this, perhaps he should consult his own Department of Health and Human Services, which has a laudable program called the “Healthy Marriage Initiative”, designed to promote marriage as the foundation of healthy adult life and family life.  They understand the importance of a good marriage to a family.  In fact, they even have a picture of the President’s family on their webpage. 

    Our Bishops have also been undertaking a major “Pastoral Initiative on Marriage” to support married couples.  Here in the Archdiocese we’ve been working hard on our marriage preparation, natural family planning, and marriage enrichment programs.

    This issue is really not that complicated or difficult.  Marriage is the foundation of a good family.  It is the best place for adults and children.  Most of our social problems are traceable to problems in marriage and the family.

    So if our government is going to recognize and honor families, it should also be promoting and honoring marriage.

    Prove It

    Saturday, September 12th, 2009

    The other night, in his speech to a joint session of Congress, the President said,

    And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up — under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.

    Color me skeptical.

    I wonder if the President has read the bills currently before Congress, or if he’s had a staff member explain their significance to him.  The bills are in no way “abortion neutral”:

    • All of the bills define the services that must be included in health insurance plans in terms that have been interpreted by the courts to include abortion, such as “outpatient services”, “family planning”, “physicians’ services”, “preventive services”, etc. 
    • The House bill was amended to authorize at least one federally-subsidized insurance plan in every area of the country cover abortion.
    • Under the House bill, federal subsidies will go to private insurance plans that cover abortion.
    • The House bill would require the federal government to raise the premium for every enrollee in the public insurance plan, to cover the costs of abortions that will be financed under that plan.  In other words, the federal government will collect money from enrollees, which will then be passed on to abortionists.
    • Each of the bills would give the Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority to define what kind of services would be included in the benefits that a private insurance plan must provide.  Given the pro-abortion position of the current Administration, there is little doubt that abortion would be included among those benefits.
    • The bills require health insurance plans to contract with “community provider” organizations to provide health care services — including  Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion “provider” in the country.
    • The Hyde Amendment (which restricts Medicaid funding for abortion to cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother) doesn’t even apply to these bills, since it is an annual amendment to HHS appropriations, and this bill will be funded through a separate stream.

    If the President is serious about what he said, then all he needs to add is that he’ll support the Stupak Amendment.  That’s an amendment sponsored by Bart Stupak, a pro-life Democrat (yes, they do exist) from Michigan, which would have the same effect as the Hyde Amendment — ensuring that federal dollars are not spent, directly or indirectly, on elective abortions. 

    However, since the President explicitly and strongly opposed the Hyde Amendment in the Illinois Senate and during the campaign, can anyone expect that he will do that?  And, given the President’s cozy relationship with the Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood, does anyone believe that he’ll freeze them out of such a lucrative funding stream?

    Why does this matter so much?  The well-respected social scientist, Prof. Michael New has demonstrated that the clearest effect of a government policy on the abortion rate is whether the government pays for it or not.  In states where the government pays, the abortion rate is higher than in states where the government does not pay.  That stands to reason, after all — if you reduce the cost of a service to nothing by having the government pay for it, then people will take advantage of that.

    The ultimate significance of this debate, of course, can only be put in stark terms.  Unless the President and Congress act to specifically exclude abortion from the health care reform plan, it will mean that the federal government would be issuing checks — with our money — to abortion doctors and groups like Planned Parenthood to reward them for killing children.

    So, Mr. President, we welcome that you say “no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions”.

    But words aren’t enough.  Prove it.

    Bearing False Witness on Abortion and Health Care Reform

    Friday, August 21st, 2009

    The other day, the President was speaking by a telephone conference call to a group of religious leaders, to drum up support for his health care plan.  Oddly enough, none of the “religious leaders” was a Catholic bishop.  In any event, during the call, the President made an astonishing statement:

    “I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are frankly bearing false witness… You’ve heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion. Not true. These are all fabrications that have been put out there in order to discourage people from meeting what I consider to be a core ethical and moral obligation — and that is that we look out for one another, that I am my brother’s keeper and I am my sister’s keeper. And on the wealthiest nation on earth right now, we are neglecting to live up to that call.”

    Astonishing on many levels.  It is probably unprecedented for the President of the United States to invoke the Eighth Commandment in order to call Bishops of the Catholic Church liars.  Nice way to work for “common ground”, Mr. President.  Stay classy.

    It’s also a display of amazing chutzpah for him to speak of our duty to be “my brother’s keeper” — this, from a man who has no problem with the legal dismemberment, scalding, or poisoning of his unborn “brothers” and “sisters”.

    But the thing that really gets me is that the President, who is such a smart man, has such a poor understanding of what’s in the various health care bills, or that his staff has failed to explain them to him.

    Let’s be very, very clear about something.  Our bishops aren’t “bearing false witness”.  Far from it.  There is no doubt that the various health care bills will require federal funding for abortion.  Here’s how:

    • All of the bills define the services that must be included in health insurance plans in terms that have been interpreted by the courts to include abortion, such as “outpatient services”, “family planning”, “physicians’ services”, “preventive services”, etc.
    • The House bill was amended to specifically authorize at least one federally-subsidized insurance plan in every area of the country to cover abortion.
    • Under the House bill, federal subsidies will go to private insurance plans that cover abortion.  That means that federal funds — our tax dollars — will be laundered through insurance plans and delivered into the hands of abortionists.
    • Each of the bills would give the Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority to define what kind of services would be included in the benefits that a private insurance plan must provide.  Given the 100% anti-life position of the current Administration, there is little doubt that abortion would be included among those benefits.
    • The bills require health insurance plans to contract with “community provider” organizations to provide health care services — including Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood.  If you pay Planned Parenthood to provide “health care services”, you are giving money to the most prolific destroyer of children in the United States.
    • The Hyde Amendment, which limits the federal funding for abortion, does not apply to the pending health insurance reform plans, so each bill has to be specifically amended to exclude abortion coverage and payments.  Yet every attempt so far by pro-lifers to amend the bills to exclude abortion have been defeated.

    This all really should not be a surprise to us.  In 2007, the President told the Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood, that he would ensure that the government-run health insurance plan would cover — that is, pay for — abortions.  Surely he remembers his own words.  If you want to hear them come out of his own mouth, they’re available for view on YouTube.

    The worst thing about the President’s and Congress’ approach to health care is that they treat abortion just like any other kind of medical procedure.  Of course, all of those other services are aimed at saving life.  Only abortion is aimed at killing.

    Ironic that the President chose to refer to the Commandment about bearing false witness.  He must have forgotten about that other one that forbids us to kill.

    How Can There Be “Common Ground” With Evil?

    Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

    The question of “common ground” on abortion continues to attract attention. In his meeting with Catholic journalists last week, the President again made soothing noises about this concept. Many Catholics, who genuinely wish to reduce the number of abortions, are attracted to this rhetoric, and are seeking ways to accept or support pieces of legislation being pondered by the Administration.

    But people need to listen carefully to what the President actually says about abortion, and not listen only with our “wishful thinking” ears on. He speaks about reducing “the circumstances in which women feel compelled to obtain an abortion”. That sounds great, but what he actually proposes to do is to give even more money to groups like the Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood, so that they can flood the country with contraceptives and wicked sex education. True, he does say some encouraging things about supporting pregnant women and adoption, but there is never the slightest hint that he believes that unborn human beings have any rights worthy of respect.

    That is the unbridgeable gulf between the President’s view and an authentic pro-life position. Some of our pragmatic goals may be in common, but on the means to achieve those ends, and on the fundamental issue of equal justice for all human beings, the President’s policies support and promote intrinsic evil — abortion and contraception. We can’t have any “common ground” with that.

    For those who still are in doubt about where this President stands, look at what “common ground” is like in the real world. The Administration pushing for universal access to abortion at the UN, Congress (with the Administration’s support) is committed to paying for all abortions for low-income women in the District of Columbia, and there’s reason to be concerned that abortion coverage will be sneaked into the national health insurance plan by defining it quietly as just another “outpatient service”.

    Here’s the basic problem with the “common ground” approach. In the real world of public policy, there are different kinds of issues. Most of the public policy debates that take place have a moral absolute involved, but the real discussion is over prudential judgments. So, for example, the question of health insurance for the poor. The moral absolute is deep in the background — e.g., we must provide access to reasonable medical care for poor people — but the policy argument does not take place at that level. The real debate is over pragmatic concerns — e.g., at what income level shall we provide benefits, and what shall the benefits be, how high a tax burden can the private sector bear, etc.

    But on issues of human life, it cannot be a question of prudential judgment or pragmatism. The “common ground” approach seeks to seduce us into acting as if abortion were merely a pragmatic concern, and not a moral absolute in itself. Its advocates love to speak of “politics as the art of the practical” in order to convince us to compromise our principles for some theoretical marginal gains in the number of abortions.

    That may be good politics, but it’s lousy Christian discipleship. There can be no “common ground” with moral evil. There can’t be any number of abortions — aside from zero — that are acceptable. This is not a mere pragmatic concern, but a question of fundamental moral justice for our unborn brethren.

    We are bound by the natural and divine law to oppose any legislation that is objectively morally evil, not to cooperate in it, not to make concessions to it in order to receive other gains, not to accept legislation with laudable purposes but immoral means. We may not to provide political cover to those who espouse moral evil, and we must do all that we can within the law to overturn evil laws and to resist them even by civil disobedience if we cannot change them.

    Here, it is not a question of prudential judgment, but moral duty. We cannot do evil so that good may come of it. Even if that means not playing ball, or not looking for “common ground”. The stakes are just too high.

    Do They Really Want to Reduce Abortions?

    Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

    Much ink has been spilled about the President’s expressed desire to find “common ground about abortion”. He even delegated a staff member to conduct outreach to pro-life groups to discuss strategies.

    Well, as I’ve pointed out before, you have to look carefully at what the President and his Administration are actually doing or planning to do, and not just at the rhetoric.

    Recently, the head of Conservative Women for America attended one of the meetings that are part of this “common ground” effort. She reported that, in an unguarded moment, the Administration’s point woman (who just so happens to be a former board member of Emily’s List, the pro-abortion PAC) inadvertently gave the game away: “It is not our goal to reduce the number of abortions… [the goal is to] reduce the need for abortions.”

    Finally, some straight talk from the Administration about its true goals.

    Read that statement and let it sink in a bit.

    Note the subtle difference in language, and understand the huge practical difference. The President’s plan is not to reduce the number of abortions. Instead, the Administration apparently intends to rely on the failed and damaging policy of flooding the nation with contraceptives while keeping abortion as a back-stop as the contraception of last resort. That policy is anti-life from start to finish.

    Here’s the proof. The President, when he was in Congress, co-sponsored the so-called “Prevention First Act”. His Administration supports the bill now. This bill is basically the Planned Parenthood wish list. It would provide the following:

    • Hundreds of millions of dollars for Title X Family Planning programs, the bulk of which goes to Planned Parenthood;
    • Requirements that all employer insurance plans include contraceptive coverage (with no exceptions for religious employers (so much for the President’s respect for conscience rights);
    • Wide promotion of the abortifacient “emergency contraception”;
    • Finding for “prevention programs”, with a specific exclusion of abstinence-only initiatives, leaving wicked Planned Parenthood-style sex education programs as the only ones that will qualify — this despite the clear proof that states that fund abstinence lessons have a lower abortion rate than states that do not.

    Further proof — the Administration does not support the Pregnant Women’s Support Act, which would actually reduce the number of abortions by encouraging adoption and supporting those women who will carry their babies to term.

    Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, had this to say recently about the Administration’s strategy:

    I fear that the specific way that the President frames this in terms of “reducing unintended pregnancies” is through the promotion of Planned Parenthood and contraceptive services… This is not about abstinence education. This is about promoting contraception and giving Planned Parenthood a huge blank check. If Catholics don’t see a problem with this then I don’t think they understand the threat it represents to the meaning of marriage, to fidelity, to chastity, to the very sanctity of human life and intimate love.

    If the Administration continues down this path, a great opportunity will have been lost to unite people behind an effort to reduce the number of children killed by abortion and women and men scarred by their experience.

    Prophecy and Notre Dame

    Monday, May 18th, 2009

    Well, the President got a rock-star greeting from the graduating seniors at Notre Dame University, and much back-slapping from the president of the university.

    Here is an institution named for the Mother of God to our nation’s most prominent apologist, facilitator, and advocate for the modern-day slaughter of the innocents.

    I understand the requirement of our faith to show respect for the ruling authorities, which is clear from Christ’s words to “render unto Caesar”, and Paul’s admonition in Romans 13 to show respect for the governing authorities. But what went on yesterday in South Bend went far beyond mere respect, and went way into the boundaries of adulation.

    Is this how the early Church Fathers would have related to Caesar? How about the Prophets — anybody recall back-slapping by Isaiah to Ahaz? All Christians are all called to be prophets by virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation. We certainly didn’t see much of that in South Bend on Sunday – except at the prayerful response meeting that was held on the campus by those who were opposed to the President’s anti-life policies.

    What is it about this man who temporarily holds the office of President that merits this kind of reaction? Even if you are totally behind his domestic and foreign policy agenda, how can that possibly outweigh his absolute, unalterable commitment to legalized abortion? Remember, this is the man who said that he wouldn’t want his daughter “punished” with a child if she got pregnant out of wedlock — calling his own grandchild a “punishment”.

    The Catholic blogger, Amy Welborn, puts the question this way:

    That’s the basic question, with all of its many implications. Do you recognize the preborn baby, even in the midst of the complexities of its young life, dwelling within the body of another, living with her own complexities in a complex, pluralistic society – as “the least among us” worthy of civic protection or do you not?

    It is abundantly clear from the President’s record, agenda, and statements that he does not view the pre-born baby as worthy of any civic protection whatsoever, and that he is fully committed to advancing the power of others to destroy those lives for any reason at all.

    And remember, as with any politician, you have to pay closer attention to what the President does than to what he says. You have to realize that when the President speaks of reducing abortions, he’s talking about supporting bills like the “Prevention First Act”, which involves funneling money to Planned Parenthood, flooding the country with contraceptives, and polluting the minds of the youth with biased sex education. He does not support authentic measures to directly encourage women to keep their babies, like the Pregnant Women Support Act.

    Sadly, I think the problem is that far too many Catholics just don’t care about abortion, or don’t care enough. Sure, many of them will say that they’re pro-life, but when it comes to doing anything about it, or saying anything about it, they’re nowhere to be found.

    As Archbishop Charles Chaput has written:

    If they cared, our political environment would be different. If 65 million Catholics really cared about their faith and cared about what it teaches, neither political party could ignore what we believe about justice for the poor, or the homeless, or the unborn. If 65 million American Catholics really understood their faith, we wouldn’t need to waste one another’s time arguing whether the legalized killing of an unborn child is somehow balanced out or excused by other social policies… We cannot talk about following St. Paul and converting our culture until we sober up and admit what we’ve allowed ourselves to become. We need to stop lying to each other, to ourselves, and to God by claiming to oppose personally some homicidal evil – and allowing it to be legal at the same time.

    That’s prophecy, that’s what a modern-day Isaiah sounds like. And that’s what should have been said to Caesar yesterday in South Bend — and to the Catholics in attendance — in place of the standing fawning ovation and craven backslapping.

    Appointing Real Justice

    Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

    There is an inscription over the entrance to the majestic Courthouse of the United States Supreme Court: “Equal Justice Under Law”.

    That statement is a lie.

    Since 1973, an entire class of human beings have been excluded from “equal justice” because, in what one jurist called “a raw exercise of judicial power”, the Supreme Court defined unborn human beings as non-persons. As such, they are not given “equal justice”, and in fact they are given no justice at all.

    I write about this because of the announced retirement of Justice David Souter from the Supreme Court. Justice Souter will forever be known for being on the wrong side of all the abortion decisions during his tenure. He utterly failed in his sacred duty to give “equal justice under law” to his fellow human beings.

    The President now has an opportunity to appoint a Justice of the Supreme Court. Anyone who thinks that elections don’t matter should pay close attention to what the Administration’s spokesman said the other day:

    Q: Looking back to November of 2007, when he was a candidate, he said that he would not appoint somebody who doesn’t believe in a right to privacy [i.e., the right to abortion]. Does he stand by that now that he’s President?

    MR. GIBBS: Absolutely…. I think he believes that the right to privacy in the case of Roe v. Wade… was settled and was in his mind settled correctly.

    In other words, the President is firmly committed to the lie.

    As I’ve said in previous blog postings, I just wish the President would listen to himself. During the campaign, he said:

    “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criterion by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.”

    And on another occasion:

    “I want my justice to understand that part of the role of the court is to look out for the people who don’t have political power. The people who are on the outside. The people who aren’t represented. The people who don’t have a lot of money; who don’t have connections. That’s the role of the court.”

    Sadly, the President fails to include the unborn among those entitled to “equal justice under law”. He doesn’t see them as being among those for whom we are to feel empathy. He doesn’t understand that they are precisely those “who don’t have political power… who are on the outside… who aren’t represented… who don’t have a lot of money; who don’t have connections”.

    (A parenthetical note — I don’t believe that the President’s statements reflect a legitimate approach to defining the task of a judge, but I quote them to make the point that if he really believed those things, he should include the unborn as well)

    The President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, now has a chance to appoint real justice.

    Or he could continue the lie.