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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

September 13, 2005

Roberts Disappoints Bainbridge (and Benedict)

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:59 pm

In today’s nomination hearing, Judge John Roberts adopted JFK’s statement

about his Catholicism and his role as a public servant: “I do not speak for my

church on public matters–and the church does not speak for me.”  He went

further, when later pressed by Sen. Feinstein, asserting:

JohnRobertsPix  “My faith and my religious beliefs do not play a role in my  

judging. In judging, I look to the law, I do not look to the Bible,

or other religious source.”

Based on much that I have written this month, I’m betting that Roberts has

disappointed Pope Benedict XVI and a lot of conservative (“serious“) Catholics.

“As those who followed my extended debate with David Giacalone

know, I believe that Kennedy’s famous Houston speech was a cop-out

and inconsistent with clear Catholic teaching on the civic responsibilities

of Catholics. This is not to say, of course, that a Catholic judge inevitably

must vote to strike down Roe. As I have emphasized repeatedly, this issue

presents complex moral and judicial ethical issues. I’m just disappointed

(but not especially surprised, I guess, given the politicization of the confir-

mation process) that Roberts so blithely opted for the easy way out.”

Being an advocate of conserving (my) energy whenever possible, I’m disappointed

that I spent so much time (and took such grief) writing on a topic that Judge Roberts

so effortlessly made moot.  afterthought (Sept. 14, 2005):  I wrote a bit too soon and

too flippantly yesterday.   I have not been seeking any particular answer from Judge

Roberts, but have instead been writing to show why the Senate and the public deserve 

to know what Roberts sees as the relationship of his devout Catholicism to his judging.

He told us, and although I might have asked the question differently or followed-up, the

issue appears to have be adequately addressed.  

tiny check I agree with those who say that Roberts has left himself a little wiggle

room on whether stare decisis conclusively precludes the Court deciding

to overturn or significantly limit Roe v. Wade.  Every lawyer knows that

giving a rule consideration and deference is far different than giving it the

final say.


Benedict16   update (7PM):  Prof. Bainbridge has a good post this

evening at Mirror of Justice explaining why he believes the JFK Houston

Speech conflicts with Church teaching. 


If, like myself, you spent a lot of the day listening to the Roberts’ hearing,

you definitely deserve this change of pace (although perhaps not of topic). 

Here are four senryu for Lee Gurga:



parading the stallion–

all eyes on

his dangling member


maleSym  femaleSym




his side of it

her side of it

winter silence





my dream

awakens me . . .

I wake you


femaleSym femaleSym


class reunion–

with my old girlfriend

her girlfriend 


  from Fresh Scent




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