President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference to Senate: Support for Roe v. Wade Should Not Be Used as a Litmus Test for Judicial Nominees

July 6, 2018 By Public Affairs Office

 WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston,President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), wrote to themembers of the Senate on July 6, urging them not to use support for Roe v.Wade as a litmus test for judicial nominees in their deliberations aboutthe upcoming vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Theletter makes clear that the USCCB "does not support or oppose confirmation ofparticular presidential nominees." Instead, the letter expresses "graveconcerns about the confirmation process…being grossly distorted by efforts tosubject judicial nominees to a litmus test in support of Roe, as thoughnominees who oppose the purposeful taking of innocent human life are somehowunfit for judicial office in the United States."

"Byany measure," the Cardinal says, "support for Roe is an impoverishedstandard for assessing judicial ability. For forty-five years, Roe hassparked more informed criticism and public resistance than any other courtdecision of the late 20th century."

Theletter points to decades of polling showing that most Americans oppose Roe'spolicy of unlimited abortion, to a growing numberof state legislatures passing pro-life laws, to mainstream medicine rejectingabortion, and to many legal scholars who support abortion who havecriticized Roe for not being grounded in the U.S. Constitution.

"Ifa Supreme Court ruling was wrongly decided, is widely rejected as morallyflawed and socially harmful, and is seen even by many supporters as havinglittle basis in the Constitution, these are very good reasons not to use it asa litmus test for future judges. Further, a nominees' faith should not be usedas a proxy for their views on Roe. Any religious test for public officeis both unjust and unconstitutional."

Thefull text of Cardinal DiNardo's letter to the Senate is posted at:

Formore on the U.S. Bishops' pro-life efforts, including information on Roe v.Wade, visit: