Fordham University Gives Award to Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Judge Breyer

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 14, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Fordham University Gives Award to Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Judge Breyer

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 14
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Fordham University, a Catholic educational institution is coming under fire for a decision to bestow an award on pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Opposition is so profound that more than 1,100 Fordham University alumni and students have signed a petition opposing the plan.

William Michael Treanor, dean of Fordham Law, said in a statement on the college web site announcing the award that “Justice Breyer has devoted his life to the public good."

"As a jurist, his opinions have been marked by thoughtfulness, balance, rigor, and a commitment to justice and liberty," he said.

Justice Breyer wrote the majority opinion in the 2000 case striking down state laws banning partial-birth abortions. Nevertheless, Fordham is still scheduled to present its Fordham-Stein Ethics Prize to Justice Breyer at a dinner in New York City on October 29.

The petition includes an open letter to Father Joseph McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University.

The Cardinal Newman Society, a pro-life group that serves as a watchdog for Catholic universities, told Tuesday it supports the petition effort.

"All concerned individuals and organizations are encouraged to sign the petition. A drive for more campus signatures is scheduled for the end of this week by Fordham Respect for Life, the campus pro-life students who organized the petition," the group said.

Fordham Respect for Life students report that several Jesuit priests, faculty and staff members have expressed support for their protest of the award.

“Alumni and faculty are now much more aware of the problem and have expressed their displeasure with the situation,” one student said, according to the Society. “We think that we have brought the matter to people’s attention.”

After weeks of attempting to meet with University officials to discuss their concerns, Fordham RFL students were finally granted a meeting last week.

“We feel that our campaign to utilize media to put some pressure on the administration has been very successful,” the Fordham student said. “And we hope that we have helped initiate discussion throughout the University community which will lead to positive policy changes for the future.”

The Society says Fordham is out of step with the Catholic bishops who, in 2004, adopted the document “Catholics in Political Life."

“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions," it says.

The Fordham Stein Prize is an annual award from the Fordham University School of Law’s Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics.

The college’s web site says the award is meant to recognize a recipient who “exemplifies outstanding standards of professional conduct, promotes the advancement of justice, and brings credit to the profession by emphasizing in the public mind the contributions of lawyers to our society and to our democratic system of government.”

This isn’t the first time Fordham has awarded a pro-abortion judge, as it honored pro-abortion Ruth Bader Ginsburg with the same prize in 2001.

Related web sites:
Cardinal Newman Society –

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