:ALL: Will a Catholic U.S Supreme Court check social justice at the door?
Washington, DC (05 October 2009) – As the United States Supreme Court gathers today for the first day of the Court's new session, six of nine Justices are Catholics – a historic makeup with far-reaching implications.
"At a time when the nation is more embroiled than ever over the atrocity of abortion, will the six of the nine justices have the moral compass to recognize human rights for those not yet born, instead of a political agenda which has, sadly, functioned in place of Justice since 1973," said American Life League President Judie Brown on the group's fifth annual Pro-Life Memorial Day – a national event to mark the Court's first day back in session.
As Catholics take a more prominent place in the nation's politics and culture, the debate is heating up over the Church’s role in health care and advocacy of the human personhood movement.
The current makeup of the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the question of human personhood, as five states push initiatives to amend state Constitutions to apply to every human person from the biological beginning of their development. Just last week, a Pew Research poll confirmed several national poll findings that a majority of Americans consider themselves "pro-life."
"As the cultural climate dramatically changes and begins to recognize human rights for all human beings, will our Supreme Court follow suit?" Brown asked. "As Catholics and as arbiters of justice, six of nine Supreme Court justices have an unshakable duty to recognize the basic right to human personhood in interpreting the Constitution."
Brown echoed the words of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, who presided over the annual Red Mass in Washington, D.C. celebrated Oct. 4 to invoke God's blessing and guidance on the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor attended — as did Justice Stephen Breyer and Vice President Joe Biden.
Cardinal DiNardo said that the people who lawyers, and thus justices, represent are more than clients. "In some cases the clients are voiceless for they lack influence; in others they are literally voiceless, not yet with tongues and even without names, and require our most careful attention and radical support."
Since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton in 1973, 51 million preborn children have been surgically and medically aborted – millions more chemically.
Catholics are obliged on pain of mortal sin to oppose abortion, human embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, sterilization and contraception. Pope John Paul II's characteristic philosophy of human personalism has largely shaped Catholic understanding of social justice in the modern world.