Over the summer, the Catholic League became very involved in the nomination of Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor for a seat on the federal court of appeals in Atlanta. The Catholic League contends that Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have subjected him to a de facto religious test. Accordingly, William Donohue wrote to all 100 Senators asking them to reject this invidious litmus test.
Pryor is a Catholic who is strongly opposed to abortion. Senator Charles Schumer of New York did not hold back in questioning Pryor about his “deeply held beliefs.” Indeed, he said Pryor’s beliefs “are so deeply held that it’s very hard to believe that they’re not going to influence” him on the bench. This, of course, is code for questioning Pryor’s deeply held religious convictions.
Senator Richard Durbin is a Catholic who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He rejected the charge that the committee is opposed to Catholic nominations for the federal bench.
We responded by commenting,
“No one has ever said that the Senate Judiciary Committee is bigoted against all Catholic nominees for the federal bench. Indeed, to the extent that the nominees reject the Church’s teachings on abortion, as Senators Durbin, Kennedy and Leahy do, they will be welcomed. What has been said, by the Catholic League et al., is that a de facto religious test is being applied to Catholic candidates who accept the Church’s teachings on abortion.”
For more on this, see “NO CATHOLIC JUDGES NEED APPLY”