Senate Committee OKs "Pro-Life" Catholic Douglas Kmiec as Malta Ambassador

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 6, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Committee OKs "Pro-Life" Catholic Douglas Kmiec as Malta Ambassador

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 6
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of a pro-Obama political activists who has caused headaches for the pro-life Catholic community. President Barack Obama named Douglas Kmiec, a Pepperdine University law professor as ambassador to Malta.

With the panel’s vote for Kmiec, his nomination now moves to the Senate floor, where it appears he will likely be confirmed.

The move is already causing a stir in pro-life Catholic circles because of Malta’s strong pro-life stance and laws prohibiting abortion.

The Catholic country is a small Mediterranean island just south of Italy that has resisted efforts from the European Union and United Nations to allow abortions.

Yet, Kmiec became the main Catholic cheerleader for the Obama campaign during the 2008 presidential election and his ringing endorsements of the aggressive abortion advocate drew scorn nationwide.

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver rebuked him for saying pro-life Catholics could support an aggressive pro-abortion advocate, saying "to suggest – as some Catholics do – that Senator Obama is this year’s ‘real’ pro-life candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse."

Kmiec has continued defending Obama despite his moves to force taxpayers to fund both abortions and embryonic stem cell research that destroys human life.

He also came to the defense of Office of Legal Counsel nominee Dawn Johnson, who has compared pregnancy to slavery and is a former lawyer for a pro-abortion group.

Kmiec was also denied communion last year during a meeting of Catholic business leaders because of his endorsement and repeated campaigning for Obama.

Some say Kmiec exposed himself as not fully pro-life in an October 2008 article he wrote in the Los Angeles Times.

"Sometimes the law must simply leave space for the exercise of individual judgment, because our religious or scientific differences of opinion are for the moment too profound to be bridged collectively," Kmiec wrote about abortion.

Kmiec’s stunning admission wasn’t lost on National Review writer Ramesh Ponnuru.

Ponnuru says the Kmiec piece is "pretty clearly an endorsement of the view that given the existence of moral conflict over abortion, the compromise position we should adopt is to be pro-choice."

Kmiec was a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel during the Reagan administration but appears to have fallen away from his involvement with pro-life political leaders.

He was dean of Catholic University’s law school from 2001 to 2003 and was a professor at the University of Notre Dame’s law school. UND was involved in a scandal earlier this year that saw it allow Obama to give its commencement speech, during which he was given an honorary degree.

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