Friday, May 29, 2009

Catholic League Chief Rooting for Sotomayor Confirmation

Writes Stephen Waldman on (ht Huffington Post). He quotes this email from Bill Donahue, head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights:
"I like the fact that she is not brandishing her religion. I do not want Catholic judges to rule as Catholics but as judges. I am all for Catholic legislators having a Catholic-informed opinion, but a judge has a different charge. Unless something pops that we don't know about, I am not going to oppose her. Indeed, the experiences I had working with the Puerto Rican community lead me to quietly root for her."
IMHO, that's as good as a blessing from the Cardinal...

UPDATE: Another endorsement from Donahue, in The Washington Times:
"If the Republicans are smart, they would not fight this one," he told The Washington Times in an interview...

..."I am looking at this pool of likely competitors, and, far and away, Sotomayor is the best candidate," he said.
According to Donohue's column on the Catholic League website, it may be that he supports Sotomayor because she is Catholic:
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments today on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court:

When John Roberts was nominated to be on the high court, Senator Dick Durbin told CNN that he considered it fair game to probe Roberts about his Catholicism. Durbin released a glowing statement yesterday on Sotomayor that never mentioned her religion. When Roberts was questioned by Senator Arlen Specter and Senator Dianne Feinstein, they both asked him whether he agreed with President John F. Kennedy about separation of church and state. Neither even mentioned Sotomayor’s religion in their respective statements yesterday.

When Roberts was nominated, Dahlia Lithwick, legal analyst for Slate, said, “I wouldn’t underestimate the influence of his religion”; when Samuel Alito was nominated, Lithwick said that “People are very, very much talking about the fact that Alito would be the fifth Catholic on the Supreme Court if confirmed.” Yesterday, Lithwick posted a lengthy piece on Sotomayor that never mentioned her religion. When Roberts was nominated, NPR’s Nina Totenberg said that his wife was “a high officer of a pro-life organization. He’s got adopted children. I mean, he’s a conservative Catholic.” Yesterday, she simply mentioned that Sotomayor attended Catholic schools without ever raising it as an issue. When Roberts was nominated, journalist Adele Stan noted his religion and said, “Rome must be smiling.” Yesterday, in her positive assessment of Sotomayor, she never mentioned her religion.

What’s going on? Are liberal Catholics Catholic? Obviously not, at least according to liberals. After all, if Sotomayor were known as a practicing Catholic, those who fretted over Roberts and Alito would have called 911 by now. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, however, put their worst fears to rest yesterday when he said of the Puerto Rican jurist, “I believe she was raised Catholic.” If this is true, then the telling verb “raised” would explain why liberals like Sotomayor—she’s one of those Catholics they can trust. Let’s hope they’re wrong.