Catholic League challenges U.S. senators to vote for Catholic judge

Catholic League challenges U.S. senators to vote for Catholic judge


The Catholic League is calling on U.S. senators to demonstrate that they do not hold an anti-Catholic bias in rejecting the appointment of a Catholic, pro-life judge.

More than a year ago, President George W. Bush nominated J. Leon Holmes to be a judge for the eastern district of Arkansas. His nomination has been held up by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Senate is scheduled to hold a six-hour discussion tomorrow on the Holmes’ nomination to the federal bench; a vote will follow. 

Catholic League president William Donohue urged the committee to vote for Holmes on the basis of his qualifications.

According to Donohue, “When Holmes was considered for the federal bench last year, [Democratic Senator Patrick] Leahy, Dick Durbin and Ted Kennedy, along with non-Catholics like Chuck Schumer, ganged up on Holmes because of his orthodox Catholic beliefs.

“When this issue first arose, the Catholic League made it clear that we were not accusing any senator of being anti-Catholic,” said Donohue in a written statement. “But we hastened to add that religious profiling, even when indirectly invoked, was anathema.”

Donohue said some Democratic senators are upset with a biblical remark Holmes made previously about gender roles. However, he added, the senators would be more persuasive if they could point to an instance when Holmes’ religious beliefs “had unfairly colored his ability to render a fair judgment. Their failure to do so speaks volumes.

Donohue concluded by stating that if these Democratic senators “want to rid themselves of the charge that they have made it all but impossible for orthodox Catholics to get on the federal bench, they have a grand opportunity on Tuesday to do just that.

“They can vote for Holmes on the basis of his credentials, and nothing more,” he said.