"Stopping a judicial conflict of interest" by Christopher D. Morris, appears today, August 9, 2005, in The Boston Globe. Because some Catholic bishops threatened to excluded John Kerry from partaking of the Eucharist because of his support for abortion, the author is claiming that now the Senate Judiciary Committee is fully justified to ask these same bishops about their actions if Supreme Court nominee Judge Robert were to vote to uphold Roe v. Wade.
Christopher Morris cites the American Bar Association's Code of Conduct for United States Judges, "Canon 3, Section C 1 (c), a judge must disqualify himself when he has ''a financial interest . . . or any other interest that could be affected substantially by the outcome of the proceeding." One's membership in a church with the reward of eternal life surely count as such an interest, claims Mr. Morris. When judges may derive a gain from the outcome of a case before them, especially a gain as valuable as eternal life in heaven, they must disqualify themselves.
How is it that Catholic bishops have come to have so much power that they can now throw out an entire clause of the United States Constitution? I thought that we were a nation of laws, not a nation ruled by Catholic bishops. And by the way, Mormon bishops are even more demanding of their flocks. From now on, whenever any religious leaders, including imans, proclaim fatwas or prohibit religious sacraments, another chunk of the U.S. Constitution gets chucked by the wayside. Is that the new rule according to the writers of the Boston Globe?
It gets even more illogical as Mr. Morris, Boston Globe, et al are calling upon the Senate Judiciary Committee to immediately:
"draft legislation calling for the automatic recusal of Catholic judges from cases citing Roe v. Wade as a precedent. The ... new law should cover anyone whose religion makes it impossible for them to decide on their own whether abortion should be legal; therefore, testimony should be taken from the leaders of Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths as well. It is clear that several mainline Protestant denominations separate the issue of abortion from church membership and personal salvation; judges from these faiths would face no conflict of interest."Thank you Boston Globe, Christopher Morris, Catholic bishops et al and the American Bar Association's for your unending efforts to destroy the Constitutionally guaranteed right to religious freedom for Americans. Your beliefs and rules shall now supersede our own founding document which states under Article VI, Clause 3: "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."