Sunday, April 24, 2005

Catholics in government.

To be honest, I'm not that interested in William Pryor, but there's some controversy about the fact that he's nominated to be an appeals court judge, he's Catholic, and he hates abortion.

This post at Power Line says that "Pryor has said he will follow settled Supreme Court doctrine", so it's not a concern that he's against abortion, really, since he's going to follow the law as-is anyway.

Back when John Kerry was running for President of these United States, he had some views on abortion too, and he also said he'd stick to the law. Anyway, Power Line said that for Catholic Kerry, following the law instead of his religion was grounds for excommunication (though this is, of course, disputable).

Let me get this straight:
  • Kerry, Catholic, pro-choice, acting against his church in accordance with what he believes: bad (and, as an after thought, excommunicated).
  • Pryor, Catholic, pro-life, acting against his church and against what he believes: good.
Can Pryor ignore his beliefs and be a judge? I don't know, but I think it's a good question that ultimately will go unanswered. I wondered where he'd said that, though, so I looked around just a little. The only thing I found was this: Senators Expect Floor Battle Over Pryor.
Pryor added, however, that he could follow Supreme Court precedent allowing abortion.
That's nice, but it's from a couple of years ago. Has he said that recently? Has he done what he said he'd do in the meantime? I don't know; as I said, I don't really care. I notice, however, that back in 2003 someone said,
General Pryor has no choice but to uphold Roe. You see Sammie, Pryor has been nominated to a circuit court, which is bound to follow the decisions of the Supreme Court. The idea that he would refuse to follow Supreme Court precedent as a federal appellate judge is ridiculous to the point of being laughable.
Now he's nominated to be a different judge, still lower than the Supreme Court, and it would seem to me, the same argument applies.

Ultimately, I think this wrangling over faith (and abortion) is a distraction. The guy has been a judge for a while already. Look at his record. Are his judgments legally sound? If so, he's a good judge, and his views on proper toenail hygiene are irrelevant. If it's true that he just can't do anything about abortion as a lower court judge, then the argument is doubly stupid.
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