Pres. Obama appoints architect of Roe v Wade to the bench.

Some people write to me with a lament that they don’t like GOP candidates.  I sometimes write back with one word: judges.

From Life Site comes the news that Pres. Obama has appointed one of the architects of Roe v Wade to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Where else?

Senate hearings start Thursday.

If your Senators have role on the Senate Judiciary Committee, I suggest some calls.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. rodin says:

    It is commonly referred to as the Ninth Circus Court, with good reason?

  2. rfox2 says:

    One of the more insidious, but often overlooked, areas of influence in which the Nazis under Hitler were able to enforce the nazification of Germany was through the German judiciary. It helped to change how the Germans interpreted what was moral and acceptable and what wasn’t. Forced sterilizations became accepted practice in Nazi Germany primarily through the judiciary. Obviously, Obama is aware of what a tremendous cultural impact it will have to appoint these people to various levels of the federal court system. Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

  3. Phil_NL says:

    The Ninth Circus indeed – and it’s already the most overturned court in the US, partly ebcause of its activism. At least this pro-abort would have no trouble finding like-minded people on that bench.

    Which brings me to the next item: trying to stop Obama’s more objectionable candidates is one thing, but if there would be a decent president in the white house again, it would be a good idea to split that entire 9th circuit, carefully spreading the loons over two or even three new benches so that can be balanced out by new nominees who have a notion of justice.

  4. Mary Jane says:

    I sometimes wonder about the front-runner GOP candidates…would they really appoint pro-life judges? Obviously I know that any judges they would appoint would be better than judges Obama appointed…but I do still wonder.

  5. EXCHIEF says:

    Phil nailed it. The 9th Circus is the most overturned appeals court in the USA. Better to have all the loons there as its rulings impact just its boundaries and are frequently overturned anyhow. As a cop who worked my entire career within its boundaries I found the 9th circuit to be only a minor inconvenience.

  6. Some people write to me with a lament that they don’t like GOP candidates. I sometimes write back with one word: judges.

    Bingo! That is the response I give to people all the time. People don’t think about the judges.

    Or, once the primary is over they find the republican runner less pro-life than they desire, so they don’t vote, or they vote for a third party candidate who really has virtually no chance of getting anywhere (ok, fine – it’s their vote).

    One thing that really concerns me….

    Ron Paul is running in the primary and I know a number of people who like him. He’s not my cup of tea, but he has a right to run. However, if he loses in the primary, then comes back as an Independent to run til the end, it will be devastating (and it amounts to using the GOP). If he later runs as an independent on the final stretch, you can expect the Ross Perot effect with enough of a loss from the GOP candidate to allow Obama to get his second term.

    And, that goes right to the point about judges. We cannot afford Obama having a second term because much damage will be done.

  7. Mary Jane asks: I sometimes wonder about the front-runner GOP candidates…would they really appoint pro-life judges?

    Let me toss this out: Is there any chance in #3!! that Obama will appoint even a single pro-life judge?

    Think about that.

  8. Kathleen10 says:

    Our liberal Democrat senators in Connecticut have no ears. Or at least, that’s how they act if you bring to them a topic upon which they have already made up their minds, such as, on same-sex marriage, civil unions, etc., etc. I’m basically an online activist, but I’ve all but given up on our legislators in Connecticut. Their hearts are hardened to cement.
    Father, no reply needed, but, isn’t it a puzzle that so many people see the Democrats as following Jesus in the social justice sense, so they are Democrats, and that so many others see Republicans as following Jesus in matters of pro-life, traditional marriage, so they are Republicans. I was thinking about the person who wrote to you that she didn’t like GOP candidates. When I compare anyone to Obama, the GOP looks like a choir of angels. We’ve simply got to vote him out.
    Anyway, it will be interesting to get to Heaven and find out what political party Jesus supported. =)

  9. amenamen says:

    Meet Boy Wonder.

    Does anyone else detect a little hubris or braggadocio in the claim that this man was, as a 25 year old law clerk, the “architect” of Roe v. Wade, which was decided just six months after he graduated from law school? Granted, he was a clerk for one of the three federal judges who decided a case called Adele v. Markle, which was one of the precedents cited in Roe v. Wade. That is bad enough. But did he also invent the internet?

  10. ContraMundum says:

    Problem: It was a Republican (Nixon) who nominated the author of the Roe v. Wade decision (Blackmun) to the Supreme Court. 6 of the 9 justices in 1972 were Republican apointees. Since then we’ve had Nixon and Ford, Reagan (twice), George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush (twice) as Republican presidents.

    If the Professor’s inventions were ever going to get Gilligan and company off the island, it would have happened by now. And if Republican nominees were to put an end to the national crime of abortion, it would also have happened by now.

    In fact, most Republicans do not promise to take abortion into account when deciding on judicial apointments. They carefully dodge the question; they say they have “no litmus test”. They might talk about wanting someone who is a strict constructionist, but they have little to say about how they would recognize such a legal philosophy or why it is important. That’s all right, though; they may not be pro-life, but they’re at least not as enthusiastically pro-abortion, so every 4 years (sometimes 2) we hear the same argument from the pro-life side that we are morally obligated to support the Republicans because they are in word, if not in deed, slightly better than the Democrats on life issues.

    This is like arguing over who would run the Reich better after Hitler’s death, Goering or Himmler. It doesn’t really matter who is “better”; both are totally unacceptable.

  11. ivan_the_mad says:

    @Diane at Te Deum Laudamus:
    Ron Paul won’t run third party or independent. Really. For the following reasons:
    1. Sore-loser laws.
    2. Rand Paul.

  12. dbqcatholic says:

    According to committee’s hearing notice ( the hearing was last Thursday on Jan 26. Still, I’m contacting my Senator (the ranking member :)) … Hopefully they haven’t made a decision.

    List of committee members with links to their individual web pages.

  13. jflare says:

    I’ve actually considered that precise line of thought myself before. Why should I vote for a Republican, nay why should I vote at all, when the Republicans routinely demonstrate that they’re not that concerned about abortion?
    Well, simple reason: I feel I MUST do SOMETHING.

    If I may be so bold, I find it incredibly irritating how we, the Catholic electorate, routinely behave. Every time we have a Presidential election come around, we say nothing at all, say something desperately equivocal, DO nothing in particular important, or else we grouch about how we don’t like the candidates. Has it never occurred to anyone that we’re getting dead-beat candidates precisely because we routinely ignore whatever they do outside of the elections? OR, we’re getting useless candidates precisely because we don’t, as a voting block, hold any politician accountable to anything we actually believe?
    I think I’ve become fairly notorious in my own family because, should something political come up in a conversation, I’m likely to mention something about how this conservative principle or that might apply BEFORE the concern that has been raised becomes an issue. I’ve quit saying anything with any volume, precisely because most of my family either don’t care or don’t wish to hear that the Democrats aren’t angels.

    Insane though this may sound, I’ve generally concluded that we can’t expect politicians to care about virtue..until we’ve become more more strict about our celebration of Mass. [Sounds about right.]

    As Fr routinely comments, our Church won’t revitalize itself until the liturgy challenges the faithful to be serious about their faith. So long as the faithful can blow off serious concerns, they won’t demand much from politicians. So long as the politicians don’t hear any screams from the populace, they’ll do whatever they decide seems best.

    Yes, I am pretty much declaring that the bishops and their priests will need to be much more vigorous in preaching, teaching, and living the faith before the country will turn around.
    Far-fetched though it may sound, I simply see no other way that moral virtue will gain much traction.

  14. ckdexterhaven says:

    Ronald Reagan appointed Antonnin Scalia, George HW Bush appointed Clarence Thomas, George W Bush appointed John Roberts and Justice Alito. Which of these men would be characterized as “That’s all right, though; they may not be pro-life, but they’re at least not as enthusiastically pro-abortion,”???

    George Bush had a lot of conservative, originalist Constitution abiding judges due to be nominated to the federal bench, but was stymied by a democrat controlled Senate.

    George HW Bush also nominated David Souter, but there have been claims that Souter was dishonest in his interview with Bush on his Constitutional judicial philosophy.

  15. B Haley says:

    There were two dissenting opinions at Roe v. Wade:

    Byron White – appointed by a Democrat and Renquist – appointed by a Republican.

    Of the remaining justices, the majority of the court at the January 22, 1973 decision were Republican appointees.

  16. XYZ321 says:

    Federal judges have lifetime appointments to the bench. Over a lifetime, they can make a lot of decisions that affect our society in both the short term and long term. Who the President of the US is matters because they are the ones who makes these lifetime appointments. If one candidate for POTUS commits to appointing “strict constructionists” or “originalists” to the federal bench, then that is a superior moral choice to a candidate for POTUS who commits to appointing a judge who views the Constitution as “living, breathing document.” We want federal judges like Justice Scalia who once said explained that the Constitution is dead as a doornail — there is nothing living and breathing about it. There is a process for amending the Constitution, and that is how the document can be updated — it was not intended to be updated by the particular viewpoints of lifetime appointed federal judges.

  17. jasoncpetty says:

    The Ninth Circuit’s become a joke, something a nation of laws should be ashamed of and, Phil’s right, ought to be split up like the Fifth Circuit was thirty years ago (it got too bloated from essentially acting as superintendent of every recently-segregated school in the South). This is just Obama doing what he said he’d do. But he and all Democrat presidents benefit from the fact that it’s easier for a judge to lose his principles than to find them suddenly after years of having none: a liberal appointee will never surprise anyone!

    Ron Paul is running in the primary and I know a number of people who like him. He’s not my cup of tea, but he has a right to run. However, if he loses in the primary, then comes back as an Independent to run til the end, it will be devastating (and it amounts to using the GOP). If he later runs as an independent on the final stretch, you can expect the Ross Perot effect with enough of a loss from the GOP candidate to allow Obama to get his second term.

    I know, right? All the more reason to make Ron Paul the nominee, especially since he polls evenly (within the margins of error) with Romney (and better than the others) in chances of beating Obama. And, once he beats Obama, Ron Paul swears to sign a “personhood” law (Romney doesn’t), sign a law stripping the federal courts’ abortion jurisdiction so the majority of states can immediately outlaw abortion rather than waiting forever for just that one more vote (Romney doesn’t), and he will definitely appoint better judges than Romney: the judges you likely think are “good judges” are judges that view the Constitution like Ron Paul does; not like Mitt Romney does.

    Any Republican can “beat Obama” this year if that’s all you’re worried about. So why not pick the best one—more in line with Catholic teaching than even the Catholic candidates!—instead of holding our noses once again?

  18. NoTambourines says:

    I heard the 9th Circuit judges are given bike horns instead of gavels.

  19. AnAmericanMother says:

    For what it’s worth, what I understand from friends who were in Justice at the time is that GHWB had serious doubts about Souter, but both Warren Rudman and John Sununu personally vouched for him.
    I don’t know if they didn’t know him as well as they thought, or if they were less than candid. A WSJ article later claimed that Rudman bragged that he sold Sununu, who sold GHWB, and that Rudman knew all along that Souter wouldn’t overturn any liberal precedents. In any event, they sure were wrong.

  20. ContraMundum says:


    I wear a “lucky” T-shirt for my favorite university when they have a big game because I also “feel I MUST do SOMETHING.” That’s perfectly fine, and is an expression of support. If I think that my shirt (worn several hundred miles away from the game, so that they can’t even see the spot of crimson in the stands) is REALLY helping them win, though, I’m being naive at best, and probably superstitious.

    The same goes for voting. It is not possible to REASONABLY think that your vote is going to somehow shape a spiritual reawakening in this country. It isn’t even reasonable to think that your vote will change the political landscape; many of us live in states where we already know which party will receive our state’s votes in the Electoral College, like it or not. The question isn’t whether my vote will cause one “team” to “score a touchdown”; the question is, who am I rooting for?

    If *that* is the question, though, I’m not rooting for either the Republicans or the Democrats. I’m closest to the Constitution Party, and I think they’re sincere, so even though they’re not perfect, either, they get my votes. Rah rah team!

    Our problem is, as you say, spiritual, and it will require spiritual weapons to engage this fight. Mass is one of the most important weapons there is. I’m a little more hesitant about giving liturgical improvements quite the prominence that you imply, though, for two reasons. The first is that I have no control over the liturgy, and it would be too “convenient” for me to say I’ll get involved in fixing the culture only once the liturgy is fixed. We each have to do the job in front of him. The second reason is that the phrase means different things to different people. There are lots of readers of Fr. Z for whom “saving the liturgy” will mean nothing short of eliminating the ordinary form altogether and going back to what is now the extraordinary form. That is not necessary, which is a good thing since it is also not going to happen.

  21. ckdexterhaven says:

    Who says that voting against the most pro abortion/pro infantacide president is going to shape a “spiritual awakening”? I don’t expect it to, that’s up to God and his priestly servants here on earth. But I do plan on voting- 2000 Bush v. Gore was only 12 years ago, didn’t that come down to 200 votes? Didn’t Santorum just win Iowa by 8 votes? In a lot of states, an individual vote will count. So I’m voting NotObama in November, and I’m doing it for the children. Rah Rah team NotObama. The team that won’t appoint pro abortion justices/federal judges, the team that won’t infringe on the First Amendment. Rah Rah team!

  22. ContraMundum says:

    Didn’t Santorum just win Iowa by 8 votes?

    Just what do you think Santorum won? It was a caucus that doesn’t even bind the Iowa delegates; they can go to the convention and vote for Giuliani if they want to.

    I voted in West Virginia in 2008 and in Texas in 2000 and 2004. West Virginia’s electoral votes, let alone my personal vote, made no difference to the 2008 election, and Texas was solidly pro-Bush both in 2000 and 2004, regardless of my vote. Oh, and in one of those years — I think it was 2004 — the state of Texas did not record my vote, as I was able to see from the fact that the official tally showed no votes for the Constitution Party candidate from Hunt County. On the other hand, you probably think I do — or should — want the Republicans to win. Wrong. The fact that the best that even people here can find to say about them is that they are the “lesser” evil makes it all to clear that they are unworthy of my support.

    As for the rest, abortion is not an economic problem, not an intellectual problem, and not a political problem. It is a spiritual problem. If you wait for the priests to do all the work of evangelizing, it really won’t matter who you vote for; the only change will be the continued destruction of the character that is the only GOOD reason to hope the union is preserved.

  23. SKAY says:

    Reagan nominated Bork–does anyone remember what the Democrat majority in the Senate Committee did to him? Any Republican President from that point forward knew he could not telegraph that the nominee might be pro life–otherwise the nominee would be savaged in the hearings. It was not easy even then.The Catholics- Kennedy and Biden were awful. I watched some of those hearings. For some reason it was acceptable for the Democrats to do this in the committee–but the Republicans could not –besides –it was politically correct to be a nominee who would protect “abortion rights”. Repub. Presidents can’t ask the views on abortion outright. The Democrat knows because their nominees views are known–and that seems to be OK. Father Z is exactly right –it is about the judges. Roe v Wade was a political decision by judges. That is why we have this problem now. It needs to be overturned the same way. We were close before Obama was elected but with a Democrat Senate majority it would have been hard-once again. A majority Democrat Senate means a majority Democrat vote in the Senate Committee that allows the nominee to be voted on by the full Senate.

  24. ckdexterhaven says:

    Abortion is “legal” in our temporal world, because unelected (appointed by the President) judges on the Supreme Court deemed it legal. Abortion kills babies in the world here and now, beyond the spiritual realm.

    Thanks for the reminder about Bork, Skay. That was despicable. Look at how Biden, Kennedy and Kerry (all Catholics) treated Alito. They made his wife cry!

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