Thursday, April 03, 2008

Creative Minority Report on Fr. Greeley & Obama and Chief Justice Roberts & Roe

Patrick Archbold of Creative Minority Report has a couple posts of interest.

First is one noting that Fr. Andrew Greeley hearts Obama, "Shocker! Fr. Andrew Greeley in the Obama Camp":
I know it will come as a big surprise so please sit down. Fr. Andrew Greeley is in the Obama camp. Greeley writes glowingly of Senator Obama in the SunTimes. Although Fr. Greeley cannot look at the Church but to see fault after fault, apparently when he looks at Obama, he sees nothing but halo.

I found this exchange in the comments to be reflective of the perspectives in this campaign:
Anonymous said...
Why is it you holier than thou catholics act like abortion is the only issue that matters?

Like Greely, Obama brings something I have never seen before, a charisma that I imagine was much like that of Kennedy.

matthew archbold said...
Murder with a smile is quite charming isn't it?

The second one is a post on a debate taking place between Ross Douthat and Daniel Larison regarding whether Chief Justice John Roberts would ever vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if faced with the opportunity, "Would He or Wouldn't He?":
... Douthat responds with his take on the testimony and tells of some other factors which may influence Robert's view including his faith.
I don’t believe that John Roberts is a liar either, but I don’t think his comments – delivered when he was being confirmed to the federal appeals court, not the Supreme Court – in any way preclude his voting to overturn Roe now that he's on the high court. (This is one of those rare occasions when I find myself agreeing with Media Matters.) A federal judge can’t overturn a precedent without more or less guaranteeing that he'll be reversed on appeal, so there’s no reason not to promise to faithfully apply it; a Supreme Court Justice, by contrast, can change long-settled law if he deems it necessary. And Roberts was very circumspect in his confirmation hearings about his opinion of Roe and Casey, going no further than the anodyne statement that Roe is “settled as a precedent of the court.”

The widespread confidence that Roberts will be content to chip away at Roe appears to be based, variously, on his confirmation-hearing comments, on amateur psychologizing about his moderate temperament, and on the assumption that no GOP President would risk his party's fortunes by actually appointing more than a handful of anti-Roe judges to the Supreme Court. My own confidence that he would overturn Roe - or at least revise it beyond recognition - is based on amateur psychologizing as well, in a sense, but I think I have a fair amount of evidence on my side.

At the risk of over-generalizing, I would venture that there are three crucial factors in predicting whether a male Supreme Court Justice would vote to overturn Roe: His judicial philosophy, his religious tradition and how seriously he takes it, and (perhaps most crucially) what his wife thinks about abortion. In Roberts, we have a man who is 1) a judicial conservative, of the sort that would be inclined to treat the penumbras and emanations that create the abortion license with a certain skepticism no matter what; 2) a Roman Catholic who chooses to attend one of the more conservative parishes in the Washington D.C. area; 3) the husband of a similarly-devout Roman Catholic, who serves as legal counsel for Feminists for Life (!); and 4) the father of two adopted children. (The relevance of that last point to a person's sentiments about the abortion debate should not be underestimated.) None of this makes him a certain vote against the Roe-Casey regime, but so far as prognostication goes it's hard to imagine stronger evidence - save a direct statement on the matter - in favor of counting him as such.
Read both.

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At 4/03/2008 11:23 AM, Anonymous M.Z. said...

I didn't see an endorsement in Greeley's column. Greeley is certainly eccentric, but he has come to the defense of Cardinal George in his columns. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be shocked if he offered an endorsement to Obama. I find it interesting in a column that never discusses abortion, the comments degenerate into commentary on abortion rather quickly. I can respect people's horror at his record on abortion, but I would hope that people could discuss other parts of his record. I can hardly imagine that people of good will don't have issues with other parts of his record.

At 4/03/2008 7:05 PM, Blogger Tito said...

"Murder with a smile."

That is dark humor.

One step better than the Nazi's though, since the Nazi's never smiled (stereotypically speaking).


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