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The constitution be damned!

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posted on Apr, 22 2003 @ 06:49 PM
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Another example of the Dummycrats proving that their only interest is in themselves and acquiring power, screw the people and screw their rights!


The Constitution Be Damned
Democrats try to impose a religious test on judges.

BY BRENDAN MINITER
Tuesday, April 22, 2003 12:01 a.m. EDT

Are Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats trying to establish a religious test for federal judges?

James Leon Holmes is the latest judicial nominee they've targeted. Before adjourning for Easter recess these Democrats demonized Mr. Holmes, persuading committee Republicans to put his nomination for a district court in Arkansas on hold until after the break. Then on Good Friday, New York's Sen. Chuck Schumer took to the airwaves on NPR to further attack Mr. Holmes.

This follows on the heels of the attacks on appeals-court nominees Priscilla Owen (a Sunday school teacher) and Charles Pickering (a former president of the Mississippi Baptist Convention). The Judiciary Committee rejected both when the Democrats were in the majority. President Bush has renominated both and it's likely Ms. Owen will eventually win confirmation--although Democrats may filibuster her nomination, as they are now doing to Miguel Estrada.

In Mr. Holmes's case the attacks are shocking, for the Democrats are openly targeting his religious convictions. Mr. Holmes's professional qualifications are impressive. He is an accomplished lawyer who has mostly practiced commercial litigation. He's a partner at the respected Little Rock firm Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull & Barrow. He was one of the lawyers to work on Rickey Ray Rector's defense. (Rector, a cop killer who was mentally retarded owing to a self-administered gunshot wound, was famously executed in 1992 after Bill Clinton took a break from the campaign trail to return to Arkansas and signed his death warrant.) Mr. Holmes received a "well qualified" rating from the American Bar Association, and both Democratic Arkansas senators--Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor--support his nomination.

He also comes from humble roots. Among other things he's worked as a laborer picking peas before putting himself through law school at night while supporting his family.





The lightning rod here, of course, is abortion. It's no secret that the pope and the Catholic Church are squarely against abortion on demand. And Mr. Holmes, who once served as president of Arkansas Right to Life, is an orthodox Catholic. He's written articles against abortion and has even--God forbid--defended the rights of people to peaceably protest against the practice.
Abortion gives the Democrats some of their most fanatical supporters. So Sens. Schumer, Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin feel safe in demonizing Mr. Holmes. They even dug up a 23-year-old letter in which Mr. Holmes argued against rape exemptions. Mr. Holmes says he no longer holds this view, and Sen. Durbin for one should sympathize, since 23 years ago he was pro-life.

Mr. Schumer is particularly critical because Mr. Holmes admitted to him that Roe v. Wade was one of the Supreme Court decisions he didn't agree with and because he refuses to promise to recuse himself if any of the right-to-life groups he's defended ever comes before him. Such pre-emptive recusals aren't in line with judicial ethics, which require federal judges to weigh the circumstances of each case before deciding on whether to recuse themselves.





It's not just about abortion, however. Judiciary Democrats took issue with Mr. Holmes's view of marriage. Citing an article Mr. Holmes and his wife wrote about the traditional Catholic teaching of a wife "subordinating" herself to her husband, Ms. Feinstein claimed he was antiwoman. Mr. Schumer asked if a battered woman bringing suit against her husband could have confidence in his impartiality.
Mr. Schumer went on to complain about and distort Mr. Holmes's views on separation of church and state, evolution, prayer in public schools and more. "We are not getting somebody in this case who refuses to tell us what he thinks, but the bottom line is what he thinks is so bad," New York's senior senator said.

The truth about Mr. Holmes's views is that he sees women as equal to men and in marriage each must assume collaborative roles--which is one reason many prominent Arkansas women who are also pro-choice support Mr. Holmes. In no way is Mr. Holmes endorsing legislating from the bench to impose religion on citizens. Just the opposite is true. Mr. Holmes has specifically staked out his views on religion and government in published articles--for the protection of a free state and religion, the two ought to be separate.

Sens. Schumer, Feinstein, Durbin and others, in their zeal over abortion, are now attempting to screen out judicial candidates who take their faith seriously. Judiciary Democrats may not like Catholic doctrine, but to hold religious convictions against a nominee is a blatant violation of the Constitution, which provides that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." Liberals have a knack for finding new rights in "penumbras" and "emanations" of the Constitution, but this one is right there in the document itself.




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