Last week, Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, a devout Catholic, was asked by Senator Richard Durbin (D-ILL) what he would do if the law required him to rule in a way the church would find immoral. His response? He would have to recuse himself.
The full story can be found in this Los Angeles Times op-ed (registration required).
Bloggers are pointing out that such a position (which will surely be “clarified”) could, conceivably, lead to him recusing himself from cases involving not just abortion and gay rights, but pornography and the death penalty. As Jeffrey Dubner writes at Tapped:
Hopefully this is just something that Roberts didn’t really mean and his handlers will find a way to walk it back. But if he was being honest, it’s a rather serious issue. Would he recuse himself after deciding that the law goes against Church teachings but let himself vote when his vote would meet Pope Benedict XVI’s approval? Is he more afraid of being a bad Catholic than of being a bad justice?