Senators Urged to Reject Pro-Abortion Test for Judicial Nominees

Cardinal Keeler Says Support for Roe Is a Poor Standard

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 9, 2005 (Zenit.org).- In a letter to U.S. Senators, Cardinal William Keeler rejected the view that "nominees who oppose the purposeful taking of innocent human life" are "unfit for judicial office."



Cardinal Keeler, the archbishop of Baltimore and chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities, made that point in his note Thursday to Senators, who will called upon to advise on and consent to presidential nominations for the federal bench, including the Supreme Court.

"By any measure," he said in his letter, "support for the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision is an impoverished standard for assessing judicial ability."

"When considering nominees the Senate should not allow itself to be held captive to such an unfair and unreasonable standard," he wrote.

Numerous activists and lawmakers have vocally opposed judicial nominees whom they deem likely to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision that allowed abortion on demand.

Cardinal Keeler in his letter said: "There is no doubt that the Catholic Church stands out for its commitment to the right to life from conception until natural death. This ethic has profound consequences not only for abortion, but for many other areas of life, including the death penalty, the application of scientific research to human subjects, the right to adequate health care, and the role of the state in promoting the common good.

"Our civil society will be all the poorer if Senators, as a matter of practice, prevent a Senate vote on well-qualified judicial nominees whose consciences have been formed in this ethic."