View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Sotomayor Nomination: Be Careful

Now that Barack Obama has nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, folks on both ends of the spectrum are searching for reasons to criticize her.

I'm hoping that the pro-life community will be careful and not overreact.

I know the temptation is to respond in a knee-jerk way to anything Obama does, but in this case going on the attack immediately would be a mistake.

Frankly, we don't know enough about her positions yet.

So far, there are no decisions, opinions or articles written by her to say definitively where she stands on issues like abortion, the death penalty, torture, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, etc., or that she has engaged in blatant judicial activism. Maybe a paper trail will eventually emerge, but for now, nothing significant has.

As for that Latina/white man comment, or the one about policy being made by courts, come on, haven't we all said dumb things? When I look back over previous posts I've seen plenty of things I've said than make me cringe. I'm not prepared to get worked up unless there's evidence such views have shown up again and again, or in her judicial rulings.

At the moment, I don't see sufficient reasons to go to the mattresses (ah, The Godfather!). Obama could have chosen someone more openly offensive and outspoken (on the wrong side) on life issues.

Moreover, ethnicity does come into play here: Do pro-lifers really want to take a chance on offending the Hispanic community without cause?

Keep digging. Look at her record closely. There may be legitimate reasons for opposing her based on her decisions and writings.

But unless something new surfaces, she will probably win confirmation, and we'd be wasting time and energy in fighting it.

Save those for any offensive candidates who could be nominated down the road.


Anonymous SoMG said...

I read Sotomayor has some professional relationship with pro-choice organizations--board of advisors or something. The same kind of thing that should have tipped people off about Justice Souter.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

If true, that would be a knock against her, depending how involved she actually was.


The digging has to continue!

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember when Justice Thomas went through his confirmation hearing. He described it as a "high-tech lynching" blunt but apt.

The left looked stupid opposing him and failed to stop the nomination.

The pro-life community should ask all the right questions and make their views heard, but unless something gets real traction there is no stopping it. So don't get worked up in to frenzy. Our work of saving kids and women...changing hearts and minds...we will continue and ultimately we will win. Be faithful.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous bill bannon said...

Why water down the abortion issue with the death penalty which was used in the papal states for centuries not because the papacy was anti life but because they actually knew Romans 13:3-4. This bundling of abortion with so much else gives people more reasons to reject your position. Consistent ethic of life must not contradict God's word which we praise and ignore as a Church on the death penalty. Gang leaders in prison serving life are at times ordering murders both within prison and outside prison and no Pope will study that closely and we do not demand that Popes account for their forays into sociology by at least citing the studies they have read if any...

In fact with some gang situations, modern penology does not work and such active gang leaders if found guilty of murder (see Genesis 9:5-6) should be killed to protect life but we are imaging in this area and not being honest nor facing all the nuances nor facing the scriptures which we praise constantly but seem not to be able to love enough to memorize. John Paul in EV never mentions Romans 13:3-4 and it was the classic passage that Aquinas and others used on this matter. To not even mention it while writing about the death penalty should have been a red flag but was not because while Aquinas had all critical passages of the Bible memorized, we see no such ability in the Catholic milieu.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Bill - Perhaps you have not read some of my previous posts. If you had, you would know I don't water down my position on abortion - nor do I equate these issues as equal.

Heck, when it comes to abortion I go out and protest and march and publicly pray - as I plan to again June 13 at Planned Parenthood.

My points here is that we don't know where she stands on any of these issues - issues which do matter to Catholics. She may be pro--life for all we know.

And even if she is on the wrong side on abortion and other issues, she may be less objectionable than some other people Obama might try to foist on us - so we we need to be careful about wasting our energy fighting this battle rather than the next one involving an even worse nominee.

We need to know more. We may find out she is terrible, and if so, fine, fight tooth and nail.

Abortion is a priority, but the other issues do matter.

7:04 AM  

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