In a recent letter, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops President, Bishop William Skylstad urged President George Bush to consider key moral issues and qualities as he chooses a nominee to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Head of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington, Bishop Skylstad outlined a number of the Catholic Church’s moral and social teachings, based on natural law, and stressed the importance of a Supreme Court nominee who supports them.
While noting that it is not the place of the USCCB to endorse or oppose “specific nominees,” he said that “Our concern is for principles and policies rather than for personalities…we will maintain that position with regard to this Supreme Court appointment and to those that will come in the future.”
Bishop Skylstad noted in his letter to Bush, “the Supreme Court’s ability to affect both principles and policies,” and asked that he consider “qualified jurists who, pre-eminently, support the protection of human life from conception to natural death, especially of those who are unborn, disabled, or terminally ill.”
Likewise, he added, “I would ask you to consider jurists who are also cognizant of the rights of minorities, immigrants, and those in need; respect the role of religion and of religious institutions in our society and the protections afforded them by the First Amendment; recognize the value of parental choice in education; and favor restraining and ending the use of the death penalty.”