The lead article in the online version of today’s The American Prospect, a magazine, says that President Bush’s selection of Judge John Roberts for a seat on the Supreme Court is evidence of his “Playing the Catholic card.”  According to Adele M. Stan, Bush is “betting he’s bought himself some insulation—any opposition to Roberts, particularly because of his anti-abortion record, will likely be countered with accusations of anti-Catholicism.”  She says this is a “timely pitch” to “conservative Catholic voters prior to the midterm elections”; she urges “liberal Catholics” and others to protest Roberts.

Stan goes even further on her blog, AddieStan, by saying “Rome must be smiling” at Bush’s choice.  She asks that readers contact the Democratic Catholics on the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject Roberts.

Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:

“We had no idea that John G. Roberts, Jr. was a Roman Catholic until today.   But when we learned of his religious affiliation, we wondered how long it would be before his religion would be dragged into the debate.  We didn’t have to wait too long: The American Prospect, never friendly to Catholics, let Adele M. Stan do its bidding.  Roberts, she says, was chosen purely for sinister reasons.

“Now let’s apply this logic to President Clinton’s selection of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer for the Supreme Court.  Did he do so because he liked ‘Playing the Jewish card’?   And did he do so because he wanted his critics to be seen as anti-Semites?  For good measure, was Israel ‘smiling’ when Clinton chose Ginsburg and Breyer?

“The fact that Jew baiting did not accompany the nominations of Ginsburg and Breyer shows how this nation has progressed.  Unfortunately, within 24 hours of Roberts’ nomination, Catholic baiting has raised its ugly head.  And the fact that it is coming from a mainstream liberal source is even more disconcerting.  We hope this is not the beginning of an ugly few months.”

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