Dr. Gerard V. Bradley, a prominent law professor at Notre Dame University, has endorsed Arizona Republican Senator John McCain for president. Bradley also revealed that the senator has moved to a more consistent pro-life position on embryonic stem cell research.
Professor Bradley, an expert in both constitutional law and the role of religion in law, is the current president of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.
Writing Friday in an essay at National Review Online, Bradley referenced McCain’s support for the Born Alive Infants’ Protection Act, which prohibited partial-birth abortion. Bradley noted staunch pro-life Kansas Senator Sam Brownback has also endorsed McCain’s candidacy.
Though McCain has supported destructive research on surplus embryos originally created for IVF treatments, the Notre Dame professor believes McCain has reconsidered this support after having face-to-face conversations with Bradley. “Now he realizes that there is no need to exploit ‘spare’ embryos, in light of recent successes with adult cells. And so he has been telling South Carolinians over the last few days,” Bradley wrote. John McCain’s campaign website does not note such a shift.
Bradley also noted McCain’s consistent opposition to torture as a reason for his support, writing, “all torture raises questions about the meaning of human dignity and the immunity of all persons against unjustified physical attack. In other words, torture is a life issue, too.” Bradley wrote that, to his knowledge, McCain is the only Republican candidate to have clearly rejected torture.
Recounting the McCains’ 1993 adoption of a child from a Bangladesh orphanage run by Mother Teresa, Bradley noted that they had rescued another child, who was adopted by best friends of the couple. Speaking of Senator McCain’s wife Cindy, Professor Bradley said, “While she was touring the facility, Mother Teresa unexpectedly said to her (in so many words): ‘If you do not take those two babies with you, now, they could die right here. But you can save them.’ Cindy McCain did.” This, Bradley thought, was further evidence of Senator McCain’s pro-life qualifications.
Senator McCain has said his models for Supreme Court Justices are Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. Both are noted opponents of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout the United States. Bradley believed this means McCain will appoint a justice who will vote to overturn the decision. Such an appointment is vital, Bradley claimed, because if the court soon revisits the Roe v. Wade decision and does not overrule it, the court will not consider the case again for “a very long time.”
In discussing other Republican candidates, Bradley conceded the solidity of Governor Mike Huckabee’s pro-life convictions and he said he did not question the sincerity of Governor Mitt Romney’s present pro-life stand. Bradley thought the senator’s experience made him the better candidate. “Being battle-hardened in defense of life is a real plus,” he wrote.
Senator McCain “has demonstrated himself to be the best pro-life choice,” Bradley concluded.