Pro-Life Democrat Scolds John Kerry on Judicial Appointments, Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 11, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Democrat Scolds John Kerry on Judicial Appointments, Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 11, 2004

Boston, MA ( — Ray Flynn, the former mayor of Boston, a longtime Democrat and friend of John Kerry, scolded the presidential candidate in a new full-page ad in the New York Times. Flynn says Kerry is wrong to only support the appointment of abortion advocates to federal courts.

”Removing political correctness from that statement, Senator Kerry, you have announced that you will only support people to the federal judiciary who support killing unborn children," Flynn wrote in an open letter to Kerry.

Flynn, who heads Liberty, Life and Family, a lay Catholic group based in Washington, said the letter wasn’t sent in support or opposition to his candidacy.

"I am asking you to announce today that you will not impose any abortion litmus test on candidates for the federal judiciary — especially those who are faithful Catholics," Flynn wrote.

The former Vatican ambassador listed highly regarded Harvard Law School Professor Mary Ann Glendon, who is pro-life, as an example of a capable individual who would not be eligible for a federal court position thanks to Kerry’s pro-abortion litmus test.

Kerry has denied that he has a litmus test, though he has repeatedly said he would not appoint any judges who would favor overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized unlimited abortion.

President Bush and Kerry differed on potential Supreme Court appointments in the second presidential debate.

With as many as four possible appointments to the Supreme Court coming up in the next few years, the next president will have tremendous power to shape the legality of abortion — potentially for decades.

"I would pick somebody who would not allow their personal opinion to get in the way of the law. I would pick somebody who would strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States," the president explained.

Such language has typically been used to refer to justices such as Atonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — two jurists who disagree that a right to abortion or assisted suicide exists in the Constitution.

In fact, Senator Kerry mentioned the two judges by name in an attempt to paint Bush as an extremist on Supreme Court picks.

As he has in the past, Kerry said he would appoint judges who would support abortion.

"Will women’s rights be protected? … Will a woman’s right to choose be protected," Kerry asked. "These are constitutional rights, and I want to make sure we have judges who [support them]."