Manuel Miranda is former counsel to GOP Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and founder and chairman of the Third Branch Conference, a coalition of grassroots organizations following judicial issues. He writes a thrice-weekly column in the Wall Street Journal. He has three observations on yesterday’s US Senate hearings on the confirmation of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. Read them on page 2.
Also, Roberts is a Catholic. Following are transcripts of overt anti-Catholic questions by Senators Specter and Feinstein yesterday with Roberts’ responses:
SEN. SPECTER: And let me digress from Roe for just a moment because i think this touches on an issue with ought to be settled. When you talk about your personal views, and as they may relate to your own faith, would you say that your views are the same as those expressed by john kennedy when he was a candidate, and he spoke to the greater houston ministerial association on september of 1960, quote, i do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me, closed quote?
ROBERTS: I agree with that, senator, yes.
SPECTER: And did you have that in mind when you said there is nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying the precedent as well as Casey.
ROBERTS: Well, i think people’s personal views on this issue derive from a number of sources. And there is nothing in my personal views based on faith or other sources that would prevent me from a fly — applying the precedent of the court faithfully under principleses of starry decisus.
FEINSTEIN: In 1960, there was much debate about President John F. Kennedy’s faith and what role Catholicism would play in his administration. At that time, he pledged to address the issues of conscience out of a focus on the national interests, not out of adherence to the dictates of one’s religion. And he even said, I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. My question is: Do you?
ROBERTS: Senator, I think the reason we have the two clauses in the Constitution in the First Amendment reflects the framers’ experience. Many of them or their immediate ancestors were fleeing religious persecution. They were fleeing established churches. And it makes perfect sense to put those two provisions together: no establishment of religion and guaranteeing free exercise. That reflected the framers’ experience.
FEINSTEIN: You can’t answer my question yes or no?
ROBERTS: Well, I don’t know what you mean by absolute separation of church and state. For example, recently in the Ten Commandments case, the court upheld a monument on the Texas Capitol grounds that had the Ten Commandments in it. They struck down the posting of the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky courthouse. Is it correct to call the monument on the Texas Capitol grounds with the Ten Commandments, is that an absolute separation or is that an accommodation of a particular monument along with others that five of the justices found was consistent with the First Amendment?
So I don’t know what that means when you say absolute separation. I do know this: that my faith and my religious beliefs do not play a role in judging. When it comes to judging, I look to the law books and always have. I don’t look to the Bible or any other religious source.

Miranda observations for 9/13 US Senate hearings on Roberts Supreme Court confirmation:
1) In my estimation, having studied the tapes, transcripts, and live performances of scores of appellate and high court nominees, — and also prepared several nominees in murder boards, Judge Roberts’s performance yesterday was near perfect. In fact, in 2003 his performance was the best we had ever seen, although no one could perform more bravely than did Bill Pryor. I am not troubled at all by his cautious and correct answers to questions concerning Roe and the right to privacy.
2) While I am not troubled, I empathize with the potential for despair that many of my friends may have experienced. I believe that the Roberts hearings offer an opportunity. We should impress upon the White House that they cannot do this again. They cannot nominate someone without a clear record on Roe. A record such as the late Chief Justice was nominated in 1986 by Ronald Reagan. For this president, the ultimate prize is to end the stigma that sunk his father’s legacy. When the President promised he would appoint judges like Scalia and Thomas, it was not their views on the Clean Sewers Act that he was trying to signal to us — it was code for Roe. He knew it, we knew it. There are currently short list judges that have records on Roe and we should now expect them to be nominated. Not just to keep a promise, but as a matter of decency. At some point those who despair must be given some clearly marked reason for hope.
3) I pray that it is not left to Catholics to point out the offense and outrage of the questions posed below. I will not risk offending anyone of another faith by drawing the obvious observations and “what ifs.” . Two years ago, Archbishop Charles Chaput pointed out that anti-Catholic bigotry was alive and well in the U.S. Capitol. Below is the proof of that. Notice the raw intolerance and disrespect that the Senator from California shows as she utters the words “dictates of one’s religion.” As a Catholic who understands that my religion invited and does not dictate, I am heartsore over these questions. Certainly, this is not an inter- religion issue. It is secularists versus people of faith. The John Kennedy question is more than a nose inside the tent of imposing a constitutionally prohibited religious test It is the smelly, slobbering camel. If anything it’s use disturbingly shows that we have not progressed much in 45 years, and are travelling in the wrong direction.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...