Douglas Kmiec – Catholic Obama Supporter

| September 6, 2008 | 0 Comments
Douglas Kmiec was a familiar legal expert during the Clinton impeachment. He would argue the case in favor of impeachment and, as far as I was concerned, defend the indefensible. I considered him an unprincipled hack who would conjure up sophisticated legal rationales for anything and everything the Republicans chose to do on that and other issues. I frankly didn’t know that he was also a prominent Catholic.

Now, I learn he has endorsed Obama and atributes his endorsement to his dedication to Catholic teaching. Of course, that forces me to totally re-evaluate my opinion of him. I now realize he is an honorable scholar.

It’s times like these when I have to ask myself, am I the political hack?

Could it be????


Here’s his very persuasive answer on the question of abortion in a column by the Times Religion correspondent, Peter Steinfels:

Q. Given those views, why do you support Barack Obama?

A. There is a widespread misconception that overturning Roe is the only way to be pro-life. In fact, overturning Roe simply returns the matter to the states, which in their individual legislative determinations could then be entirely pro-abortion. I doubt that many of our non-legally-trained pro-life friends fully grasp the limited effect of overturning Roe.

Secondly, pundits like to toss about the notion that the future of Roe depends on one vote, the mythical fifth vote to overturn the decision. There are serious problems with this assumption: first, Republicans have failed to achieve reversal in the five previous times they asked the court for it; and second, it is far from certain that only one additional vote is needed to reverse the decision in light of the principles of stare decisis by which a decided case ought not to be disturbed. Only Justices Thomas and Scalia have written and joined dissenting opinions suggesting the appropriateness of overturning Roe.

So given those views, the better question is how could a Catholic not support Barack Obama?

Senator Obama’s articulated concerns with the payment of a living wage, access to health care, stabilizing the market for shelter, special attention to the needs of the disadvantaged and the importance of community are all part of the church’s social justice mission.

Applying this to the issue of abortion, the senator has repeatedly indicated that he is not pro-abortion, that he understands the serious moral question it presents, and, most significantly, that he wants to move us beyond the 35 years of acrimony that have done next to nothing to reduce the unwanted pregnancies that give rise to abortions.

Interestingly, Kmiec has been denied communion by at least one priest for his apostasy. He has become a hero of mine.

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