Honest John

Juli Kearns Everyday Stories Leave a Comment

Today a friend sends the following in an email saying it may be a reason to be for Roberts (but I disagree):

“The exchange occurred during one of Roberts’ informal discussions with senators last week. According to two people who attended the meeting, Roberts was asked by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) what he would do if the law required a ruling that his church considers immoral. Roberts is a devout Catholic and is married to an ardent pro-life activist. The Catholic Church considers abortion to be a sin, and various church leaders have stated that government officials supporting abortion should be denied religious rites such as communion. (Pope Benedict XVI is often cited as holding this strict view of the merging of a person’s faith and public duties). Renowned for his unflappable style in oral argument, Roberts appeared nonplused and, according to sources in the meeting, answered after a long pause that he would probably have to recuse himself.”

The quote is from the following Jonathan Turley article and Turley’s say on it is, “It was the first unscripted answer in the most carefully scripted nomination in history. It was also the wrong answer.”

The Faith of John Roberts, by Jonathan Turley, The Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2005

Judge John G. Roberts Jr. has been called the stealth nominee for the Supreme Court – a nominee specifically selected because he has few public positions on controversial issues such as abortion. However, in a meeting last week, Roberts briefly lifted the carefully maintained curtain over his personal views. In so doing, he raised a question that could not only undermine the White House strategy for confirmation but could raise a question of his fitness to serve as the 109th Supreme Court justice.

The exchange occurred during one of Roberts’ informal discussions with senators last week. According to two people who attended the meeting, Roberts was asked by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) what he would do if the law required a ruling that his church considers immoral. Roberts is a devout Catholic and is married to an ardent pro-life activist. The Catholic Church considers abortion to be a sin, and various church leaders have stated that government officials supporting abortion should be denied religious rites such as communion. (Pope Benedict XVI is often cited as holding this strict view of the merging of a person’s faith and public duties).

Renowned for his unflappable style in oral argument, Roberts appeared nonplused and, according to sources in the meeting, answered after a long pause that he would probably have to recuse himself.

It was the first unscripted answer in the most carefully scripted nomination in history. It was also the wrong answer. In taking office, a justice takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States. A judge’s personal religious views should have no role in the interpretation of the laws…

Rest of the article is here

I look at it like this. I’ve turned down jobs in the past because they conflicted with certain ethics of mine. It’s that simple. Now, if Roberts doesn’t believe in separation of church and state then there’s no conflict of interest there, despite the oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States, because he’d be a theocrat and he wouldn’t give a damn for the law in the first place. Hence, no conflict of interest as he would recognize no interests other than his godly own. But if Roberts believes his faith would interfere with his ability to render judgments?

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