Tuesday, December 10, 2002

President Bush is apparently considering appointing the dean of Catholic University's law school to a federal court

Professor Kmiec has written about the need for judges to interpret the Constitution with an eye to what theologians and scholars call "natural law." Adherents of natural law describe it as as a body of immutable truths based on religious or transcendent concepts of right and wrong, something higher than man-made law.In a 1993 law review article, Professor Kmiec cited the Declaration of Independence, with its "we hold these truths to be self-evident" tone, as evidence that natural law theory should be part of a judge's approach. He wrote that natural law would be helpful in curbing "wayward judges" who, he said, "transform aberration into a civil right."He wrote that the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973, upholding the right to abortion, was a violation of natural law."Roe v. Wade, which manufactured the right to kill the unborn, is perhaps the best example of where the natural law context of the Constitution has been most seriously offended," he said.Professor Kmiec formerly held the Caruso family chair in constitutional law at Pepperdine University School of Law. Before that, he taught for nearly two decades at the University of Notre Dame, where he founded The Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy. From 1985 to 1989 he served in the Reagan and first Bush administrations, heading the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department.

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