Groups to guard against derailment of Roberts nomination
Aug 09, 2005
Catholic groups say they will guard against any attempt to use religious faith to derail the nomination of Judge John Roberts, a mass-going Catholic, to the U.S. Supreme Court.
They pointed to the very Constitution that Roberts would swear to uphold and its prohibition against using any type of “religious test” as a qualification for higher office.
“A person’s religious faith, and how they live that faith as an individual, has no bearing and no place in the confirmation hearing,” said Joe Cella, president of a new Catholic group, Fidelis, formed to support conservative judges.
The debate in some ways is an extension of last year’s election-year tug-of-war, focused on Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, over what it means to be a Catholic in public life.
By all accounts, Roberts attends mass weekly at the Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, Maryland. Growing up in Indiana, he attended a Catholic high school.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).