Florida attorney Loring Spolter has formally petitioned the U.S. District Court seeking the recusal of U.S. District Judge William Zloch on the grounds that the judge exercises religious bias.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue took Zloch’s side today:

“If anyone wants to see anti-Catholicism in action, keep an eye on Loring Spolter—the man is still at large. Ironically, Spolter’s affidavit not only fails to detail a single instance of religious bias on the part of Judge Zloch, it offers concrete proof of his own bigotry.

“Spolter is angry that Zloch has a close association with Ave Maria Law School, a Catholic law school in Michigan (it will move to Florida in 2009). Specifically, he is upset that two of the judge’s three clerks are Ave Maria graduates and that Zloch contributes to the law school.

“Spolter thinks he has a slam dunk case by citing the following—to him indictable—information: Ave Maria adheres to Pope John Paul II’s encyclical letter ‘Fides et Ratio’ (Faith and Reason), and it promises a ‘distinctive legal education’ that is ‘characterized by the harmony of faith and reason.’ Worse, Spolter argues, Ave Maria addresses ‘moral truths’ and even has the audacity to emphasize ‘the inherent dignity of every human being stemming from our creation in the image and likeness of God and raised to a new level of our redemption in Jesus Christ.’

“When Joe McCarthy played his infamous guilt-by-association card, he at least got it right when he identified communist cells as evil. By contrast, Spolter’s attempt to demonize Ave Maria—and by extension Judge Zloch—is laughable. In any event, it would be instructive to know if Spolter, who unlike McCarthy is Jewish, thinks it’s kosher for Jewish judges to hire clerks from Yeshiva University and to make contributions to the school.

“Spolter needs to take a more sober approach to his work and go back to doing what he does best—defending drunken drivers from their accusers.”


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